Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Monday, 1 June 2009 13:33 UK

Royal Mail workers vote to strike

Postbox and van
The union said strike action was a last resort

Postal workers in London have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike in a row over jobs.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said its members in London had backed industrial action by 9-1.

The union is in dispute with Royal Mail over jobs and conditions, claiming services are being hit by "arbitrary" cuts.

A Royal Mail spokesman said the changes in London were covered by a national agreement signed by the CWU.

The union said decisions on dates for industrial action would be taken shortly, but said it hoped to avoid strike action.

Unacceptable attacks

CWU spokesman Martin Walsh said: "We're fighting against unacceptable attacks on jobs and services in Royal Mail at a time when the company is performing well.

"Strike action is a last resort for our members who can ill afford to lose wages.

"However, these cuts and the way management want to impose them are so serious that postal workers have voted 9-1 for strike action.

"We want a national agreement which they previously committed to and have now walked away from."

But a Royal Mail spokesman said: "The changes Royal Mail needs to make in London, as mail volumes fall by 10% a year, are covered by a national agreement signed by the CWU in 2007, in the presence of the TUC, and which have already been successfully implemented in operational units throughout the rest of the country.

"Royal Mail is fully honouring that agreement, which also protects full-time jobs for all those who want to continue working full time for Royal Mail, and we call on the union, which only last month said that the pace of modernisation needs to be stepped up, to do the same."

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