Talks to avert first nationwide postal strike since privatisation enter crucial phase as Royal Mail prepares to unveil big jump in profits
Talks to avert the first nationwide postal strike since privatisation have entered a crucial phase as Royal Mail prepares to unveil a big jump in profits.
The 500-year-old company is locked in an increasingly high-stakes pay dispute with the union representing its 115,000 members.
Talks: Royal Mail is locked in an increasingly high-stakes pay dispute with the union representing its 115,000 members
Royal Mail also wants posties to work Sundays to compete with the likes of Amazon and DPD as part of plans to modernise the service.
The delivery giant has put forward a pay increase of up to 3.5 per cent for this year, including backdated pay and an additional rise when negotiations conclude.
It is also offering a new ‘above-and-beyond’ bonus, worth up to 2 per cent, for staff who hit productivity targets
But the offer, 5.5 per cent if targets are met, is opposed by the Communication Workers Union (CWU). It wants a ‘no strings’ pay rise in line with inflation – now estimated to hit 10 per cent by the end of this year.
The Mail on Sunday has learned the two sides have entered into a formal ‘dispute resolution process’ to try to reach a deal.
If no agreement is found by the end of this month, the CWU says it will call a strike ballot. A strike would be the first in almost a decade. Union sources say the talks are currently ‘deadlocked’.
Royal Mail – privatised in three stages between 2013 and 2015 – is expected to give an update on negotiations this Thursday when it announces results.
Analysts forecast full-year profits of around £720million, up from £664million the previous year.