Royal Mail managers vote for strike action

Royal Mail managers that are members of Unite the Union have voted for strike action as part of a pay dispute.

Unite released a statement that said, “The managers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, voted by 78% to take strike action and by 93% for industrial action short of a strike.”

Unite members rejected a 1.3% pay offer. The union said that it has now called for “urgent and constructive talks with Royal Mail’s management”.

Unite’s officer for Royal Mail members, Brian Scott, said: “We are already consulting our Royal Mail reps to decide what form the industrial action could take.

“We could be talking about an all-out strike which would cause severe disruption to deliveries to 27m addresses, but, in the first instance, we are likely to call upon our members to work to rule.

“Any action would have a detrimental impact on business and commerce.

“Unite repeats its offer for constructive talks with management at any time, any place to seek a fair settlement to this long-running dispute.”

In response the delivery company has said that it is very disappointed with the vote, but added that it wants to reach an agreement. It stated that it as “robust contingency plans in place” in case of any action.

In a statement a Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail is very disappointed that members of Unite have voted in favour for industrial action and action short of strike over the 2015 pay offer for junior and middle managers. Any action or threat of action is damaging to our business.

“Royal Mail has proposed an average pay increase of 1.3% in base pay or a one off payment equivalent to 1.3% depending on a managers’ grade. This offer follows several months of discussions with Unite. We believe the pay offer is fair and competitive and was ahead of inflation at the time the offer was made in September. It also compares well with other external pay offers in the UK.

“Royal Mail notes that of those eligible to vote, 56 per cent did not vote or returned a vote for strike action. We want to reach agreement with Unite. In the event of any action, we have robust contingency plans in place to ensure we continue to deliver a high quality service.”

Royal Mail has done very well from the boom in e-commerce and is still far larger in terms of turnover and profit yield than any of its rivals. Unite’s position seems to be that its managers would like recognition for their role in the company’s success.