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The Royal Mail strikes conclude as postal workers vote in favour of a pay deal

After months of contentious discussions, the dispute between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has officially concluded.


The union's members have voted in favour of accepting a deal with Royal Mail, with a 67% majority. The voter turnout exceeded 75%.


The CWU had recommended that its members accept the agreement. Last year, over 115,000 postal workers staged a total of 18 strikes spanning from September to December, demanding improved wages and working conditions due to the impact of rising inflation on their earnings.


The dispute included the union's demand for the resignation of Chief Executive Simon Thompson, who claimed that the company was incurring losses of £100 million per day during the strike. Thompson announced his resignation in May.


The CWU strategically targeted key busy dates for Royal Mail to maximise disruption, such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday, prominent online shopping days.


Under the terms of the deal, employees will receive a 10% salary increase over a three-year period, along with a one-time lump sum payment of £500. Initially, the union had sought an annual raise in accordance with the inflation rate, which currently stands at 8.7%.


Furthermore, the agreement introduces later delivery start times to accommodate the growing demand for next-day parcels. Royal Mail asserts that this adjustment will enhance service quality, facilitate expansion, and meet evolving customer expectations.


The company's request for new seasonal work patterns and regular Sunday shifts has also been accepted. This move is intended to bolster Royal Mail's seven-day parcel business and enable the organisation to adapt to changing customer needs.


Although the industrial action has ceased, animosity between the union and Royal Mail persists. Dave Ward, the head of CWU, described the nearly year-long negotiation and strike period as "the most challenging in the history of both the union and the company."


"Due to the company's lack of integrity and mistreatment of employees, many workers simply do not trust the Royal Mail group," Ward remarked.


Acceptance of the deal does not indicate a reduction in union activity, according to Mr. Ward, nor does it signify an endorsement of Royal Mail's actions. Mr. Ward says that rather "this result will be the start of the union reconnecting in every workplace".

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