POSTAL workers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking for pay, in a ballot of 115,000 members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), with 97.6% voting in favour in a postal ballot with a 77% turnout.
Announcing the result yesterday afternoon, CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: ‘First of all this is a stunning result.
‘I think it is probably the biggest YES vote on that amount of members – over 100,000 people being balloted – in the history of the trade union movement, particularly under all the regulations that the government has put in place.
‘So why are they angry? I think any worker would be angry if they understood the facts behind this dispute.
‘The facts are Royal Mail posted in May, for the second year running, record profits of over £758 million.
‘They then chose to prioritise shareholders over the workers that made those profits by giving those shareholders dividends of £400 million and at the same time posed this 2% pay offer, a disgraceful offer, given the work that our members have performed and the way they have turned the fortunes of the company around.
‘They themselves, the CEO and the board members, took bonuses of over £140,000 on top of their annual lottery-winning salaries.
‘People are angry. I think the company really have got to come back to the negotiating table. Our members are really angry.’
Ward went on: ‘There are no excuses that the company can put forward, there are no arguments that anybody can put forward.
‘The company is completely out of order in the way that they have dealt with this year’s pay claim, against all of the problems that exist, with a cost of living crisis which is the worst in living memory.’
Strike dates are yet to be decided but the CWU said it could amount to the biggest ever action taken by its members.
Dave Ward went on to say that Royal Mail’s chief executive and board ‘should seriously consider their futures’ as the ballot was ‘also a vote of no confidence.
‘While bosses rake in £758m in profit and shareholders take £400m, workers are expected to take a serious real-terms pay cut.
‘Postal workers won’t accept their living standards being hammered by bosses who are typical of business leaders today – overpaid, underqualified, out of their depth.’