Oct 3, 2017

Royal Mail workers vote for strike over pensions

Workers at Royal Mail have voted for the first national strike at the postal operator since its privatisation, in a move that threatens to disrupt the company's letter and parcel deliveries during the key pre-Christmas period. Almost three-quarters of the 110,000 members of the Communication Workers Union who work at Royal Mail took part in the strike ballot, which was sparked by the company's plans to close its defined benefit pension scheme. The strike vote at Royal Mail was the first significant test of the government's most recent trade union legislation, under which ballots require a 50 per cent turnout for industrial action to go ahead. The vote also comes just a week after the Labour party repeated its pledge to nationalise Royal Mail, as well as other industries including utilities and the railways. Relations between management and the CWU have broken down over Royal Mail's decision to close its defined benefit pension scheme as well as other issues including pay. Royal Mail argues is operating in the most competitive market in the world, with 16 rivals including Amazon, which now does one in every 10 parcel deliveries in the UK. Letter volumes have declined 40 per cent in the past 10 years as people increasingly prefer email.

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