‘If we don’t take a stand now, you will see the postal service in the UK destroyed for ever,’ Communication Workers Union (CWU) deputy general secretary Dave Ward warned yesterday.
He was speaking, in the wake of CWU members’ 76 per cent vote in favour of national strike action.
There was a 67 per cent turnout, nearly twice that of the general election.
Northamptonshire CWU branch secretary Mick Fitzmaurice told News Line: ‘We expect our leaders to give Royal Mail seven days’ notice of a national strike very soon. We don’t want a delay.
‘Management are taking executive action, taking out jobs, reducing people’s take home pay.
‘We need action as soon as possible to bring management to account.
‘We will be lobbying parliament next Tuesday. This government has to get off its hands and deal with the pensions deficit.
‘Royal Mail have imposed a pay freeze and the government has imposed a pay freeze on all public sector workers.
‘We should coordinate industrial action with all the public sector unions to maximise our stand against this government.’
Local strikes have been ongoing in places across the UK since the last week of June. Postal workers in London have now taken strike action every week for 15 weeks.
Mail Centres are out today in London and London delivery offices are out again tomorrow.
Watford CWU branch secretary Alan Walsh welcomed the national strike vote.
He told News Line: ‘Watford members are keen to support their colleagues who have already been taking strike action, they are keen to go ahead with a national strike.
‘Things can’t go on as they are, we might as well go for it. Delaying is not going to do any good. There will have to be a national strike.’
He added: ‘We’ve been hearing of so many people having problems. Leeds council workers are on strike, firefighters are taking action.
‘There is going to be another 1970s “winter of discontent” with all public sector workers taking action.’
CWU leader Ward said: ‘Postal workers across the UK have now spoken and they say no to Royal Mail’s arrogance.’
But he added: ‘There’s still an opportunity to reach an agreement before any national strike action takes place.’
All Trades Unions Alliance National Secretary Dave Wiltshire told News Line: ‘The massive vote for all-out strike action by postal workers must be acted upon immediately by the CWU National Executive.
‘The Hayes-Ward leadership are acting as if there is a possibility of securing some kind of negotiated compromise acceptable to the members.
‘Every postman and woman knows there can be no compromise, that this is a fight to the finish and any hesitation in calling all out action is tantamount to selling the membership, or rather those that remain in a job, into industrial slavery.’