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Royal Mail managers vote to strike in jobs dispute

(John Giles/PA)
(John Giles/PA)

Royal Mail managers have voted to strike in a dispute over jobs.

Members of Unite backed walkouts by 86% and by 89% in Northern Ireland.

The union said Royal Mail plans to cut 542 frontline delivery managers’ jobs alongside a redeployment programme to bring in worsening terms and conditions.

The dispute involves around 2,400 managers across more than 1,000 delivery offices.

Unite said it would announce strike dates in the coming days and called for management to return to the negotiating table to reach a settlement to avoid disruption.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is no surprise at all that these workers have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.

“Make no mistake, Royal Mail is awash with cash – there is no need whatsoever to sack workers, drive down pay or pursue this ill-thought-out redeployment programme.

“These plans are all about boardroom greed and profiteering and nothing whatsoever to do with securing this vital public service.

“Shareholders have been seizing the Royal Mail profits, while our members have been holding the service together. Enough is enough.

Sharon Graham
Sharon Graham (Sharon Graham Campaign/PA)

“Our Royal Mail members are guaranteed Unite’s 100% support in any industrial action they take this summer to get the company off this ruinous path.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by the announcement that Unite members have voted in favour of both industrial action and industrial action short of a strike, also known as work to rule.

“Unite have stated they will be informing us in due course in relation to the terms of any industrial action.

“Throughout the ballot process, Unite head office has misled members about additional job losses. This is not true. Unite has ignored our request to correct these claims.

“There are no grounds for industrial action. The extended consultation on these changes concluded earlier this year, and the restructuring is complete.

“We committed to protecting pay for all managers who stay with Royal Mail, and the vast majority will see an increase in their earnings.

“We allowed managers to request voluntary redundancy with a package of up to two years’ salary, which was over-subscribed. We also made several concessions during the process, which Unite declined.

“The ballot covers around a third of our 6,000 managers and we have contingency plans in place to keep letters and parcels moving in the event of a strike.”