Royal Mail workers vote to strike – but will HOLD OFF mass walkout
Royal Mail workers vote to strike – but will HOLD OFF mass walkout and offer to act as a ‘new emergency service’
- Members of the Communication Workers Union backed industrial action by 94%
- However, they would put ‘the interests of the nation first’ and hold off strikes
- Row involves more than 100,000 Royal Mail workers as well as Parcelforce staff
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Royal Mail workers have voted massively in favour of strikes in a long running dispute over job security and the future direction of the company.
Members of the Communication Workers Union backed industrial action by 94%, in the third time union members had voted in favour of strikes over a number of issues.
The union secured a huge mandate for action last year but the Royal Mail staged a successful legal challenge to halt strikes in a dispute involving more than 100,000 Royal Mail workers as well as Parcelforce employees.
The Communication Workers Union announced today that Royal Mail workers had voted in favour of strikes
The union held back from announcing strike dates and said it wanted to become an additional emergency service in view of the coronavirus crisis.
A statement said: ‘This represents a huge mandate both in support of their union but also in opposition to Royal Mail’s attacks on jobs and services and its plan to turn the Royal Mail into just another glorified parcels carrier.
‘However, the CWU recognises that since we embarked on this ballot just two weeks ago, the growing health crisis is changing the language of priorities for our members and the country.
‘In recognition of the fact that Royal Mail Group is the only service that connects every address in this country via its universal service, something our dispute is seeking to protect, we have made a proposal to the company based on putting the interests of the nation first.’
How the CWU proposes Royal Mail workers can become an ‘additional emergency service’
The union points out that postal workers play a crucial role in keeping the population connected and informed, and that this could be emphasised even further as disruption caused by the virus outbreak continues to sweep the nation.
The CWU says staff will be able to deliver medical aid and check on elderly and vulnerable people, who may be most susceptible to infection.
Postal workers will also deliver local to local services and support those working from home while also assisting with foodbank collections and delivering grocery packages to those most in need.
The statement went on: ‘We want the public we serve, the government and shareholders to know that we want to set aside our differences with Royal Mail and subject to prioritising the health and safety of our members, we want postal workers to become an additional emergency service in the UK.
‘Postal workers are embedded in every community in the UK. They are trusted figures. They are part of the social fabric of society. It’s time to utilise the companies unrivalled infrastructure and daily reach across every city, town, village and rural community, remembering that for a lot of people the only person they will see every day will be their local postal worker.’
It added: ‘If we can agree the introduction of the very best health and safety provisions and equipment that can guarantee our members safety, they will become an additional emergency service.’
The union secured a huge mandate for action last year but the Royal Mail staged a successful legal challenge to halt strikes in a dispute involving more than 100,000 Royal Mail workers as well as Parcelforce employees
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