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Royal Mail sell-off leads to strike vote
ESSEX postmen and women could strike in the run-up to Christmas – despite the Royal Mail giving them more than £14million of free shares.
But workers remain unconvinced and voted on Wednesday to strike, with 78 per cent backing action next month.
The union has given Royal Mail two weeks to negotiate with it or a strike would take place on November 4 with the possibility of more industrial action to follow.
One Basildon-based employee, who asked not to be named, said: “Most staff have taken shares, as you had to opt out of the scheme if you didn’t want them.
“I haven’t even been told how many I’m getting, but I don’t think most people are happy with it.
“They didn’t want privatisation.
"They were working hard to improve the business.
“Shares can go down as well as up, so they aren’t a replacement for conditions.”
The company said it was offering employees more shares than any other privatised business had in the past 30 years.
Dave Ward, deputy general secretary for the Communications Workers Union, said: “Postal workers have spoken very clearly they care about their jobs, terms and conditions far more than they care about shares.
“The stakes have become much higher for postal workers since privatisation, making this ballot more important than ever.”
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “Royal Mail is very disappointed by the announcement union members have voted in favour of taking industrial action in the ballot and a strike has been announced by the union.
“However we note with a 63 per cent turnout, the majority of the union membership, 51 per cent, chose to either vote against strike action or abstain.
“In addition, taking into account frontline employees who are not union members (24,000), only 40.5 per cent have backed a strike.”
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