POSTAL workers have announced they will strike if last-ditch negotiations on issues linked to Royal Mail’s privatisation fail.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) announced yesterday its ballot of members returned a majority in favour of strike action.
However, Ruth Harris, the CWU’s branch secretary for the Portsmouth region, said strike action is still a last resort.
She said: ‘The first day of strike action will be on November 4, unless the agreement talks are concluded.
‘The union has committed to two weeks of talks and strike action is always a last resort.
‘However, time is running out.’
The union, which will have to give seven days notice of a walkout, has also accused the government of ‘deliberately creating a scramble’ for shares, leading to many private investors cashing in their allocation at a big profit.
Formal trading started on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, and the shares gained 15p, or three per cent, making them almost 50 per cent more valuable than the government’s price tag last week.
The union also says the cash generated from shares should go towards pays and pensions for staff.
However, Royal Mail says its offer of an 8.7 per cent pay increase, spread over three years, and a one-off £300 payment for non-striking staff, is a fair one.
A spokesman said: ‘Any industrial action, or the possibility of disruption, is damaging to our business, especially in the run up to Christmas, our busiest time.
‘We will do all that we can to protect our business and minimise the impact of any industrial action on our customers’ mail.’