Royal Mail facing prospect of Christmas shutdown as CWU prepares to ballot on strikes

 
Oliver Gill
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Royal Mail revealed plans to shut its multi-billion pound pension scheme earlier this year (Source: Getty)

Royal Mail’s main union will today meet to rubber stamp plans that could shut down Britain’s mail network over Christmas.

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) executive will announce plans to ballot 110,000 Royal Mail employees tomorrow.

The move comes after negotiations broke down between the CWU and Royal Mail over a raft of workplace changes.

Included in the talks were plans by the postal giant to shut its pension fund, which Royal Mail said will cost around £1.3bn each year to keep open.

A CWU source told City A.M. it is expected that the executive will vote in favour of industrial action, with a formal announcement to be released tomorrow.

“There are fundamental issues here. Fundamental divisions,” the source said. “Something has to focus them a bit more to make those changes… We’ve set timescales and we’ve set time for talks. We cannot just keep putting things off.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We believe there are no grounds for industrial action. Any potential ballot in the future does not mean there will be industrial action. Industrial action – or the threat of it – undermines the trust of our customers.”

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