All posties in Cornwall will not deliver letters and packages to residents and businesses for two days after voting to go on strike.
The Communication Workers Union has issued notice of a 48-hour postal strike this month with some 1,000 Royal Mail staff in Cornwall expected to down tools and man picket lines outside all main delivery centres, and post offices throughout the county.
CWU representatives have warned that the two-day industrial action will be the first salvo in a war with Royal Mail management if they don’t budge on pay, pensions and working conditions.
Inside a Royal Mail sorting office. Royal Mail’s 190,000 full time and part time staff handle 83 million items of post a day in the United Kingdom. (Image: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
CWU branch secretary Ralph Ferrett, for Plymouth and South East Cornwall, confirmed the industrial action would affect the whole of Cornwall as it is part of a national industrial action.
He said: “This is the first many industrial actions if we can’t reach a deal with Royal Mail. We don’t want to cause any disruption to people and businesses. We don’t want a dispute but if Royal Mail won’t move they can expect a lot worse to come before Christmas.”
The industrial action will see the large sorting depot in Truro, post offices up and down the county and delivery depots.
The union said the strike action was necessary because 18 months of talks with management at Royal Mail had failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion.
CWU members at the Royal Mail have voted for a two-day strike action in October (Image: Getty Images)
Mr Ferrett said further industrial action could be avoided if Royal Mail was to return to the negotiating table. The CWU is asking for better pay, pensions and improved working conditions for its members.
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He added: “This has come about because of 18 months of failure from Royal Mail to take the situation seriously, and their failure to negotiate in good faith. By resorting to legal threats instead of listening to the message postal workers gave them with the ballot result they have made today’s announcement inevitable.
“I sincerely hope that Royal Mail now understand how serious the situation is, and return to serious negotiations to resolve the issue rather than issuing threats.
The industrial action, the first national industrial action in Royal Mail since 2009/2010, was voted by 89/1% in favour on a 73.4% turnout.
The CWU Union has voted in favour of strike action which means posties could down tool over the Black Friday weekend and at Christmas if pay and pension talks fail (Image: ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)
It will take place from 11am on Thursday, October 19 and finish at 11am on Saturday October 21.
Royal Mail said it will use all legal options, including applying for a High Court injunction, to prevent industrial action.
The FTSE 250-listed company called for further talks with the CWU, adding: “We believe any strike action before the dispute resolution procedures have been followed would be unlawful.”
Source: Cornwall Live