Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said today they have finalised the details of a proposed agreement spanning pensions, pay and other changes, to signal light at the end of the tunnel in a bitter row.
The agreement will now be considered by the CWU's postal executive committee next week.
In a joint statement, Royal Mail and the CWU said: "A further announcement with the details of the final agreement will be made in due course."
Ratification of the agreement is also subject to a ballot of CWU members and approval by the Royal Mail board.
Last week, Royal Mail’s main union had said it expected to “nail down” a final pay and pensions deal this week to bring an end to the long-running industrial dispute.
The CWU said the threat of strike action over the busy festive period forced the Royal Mail’s top brass to take the union more seriously.
Royal Mail unveiled plans to shut its pension scheme one year ago amid fears it would cost more than £1bn a year to keep it open.
This, plus changes to pay, working hours and conditions prompted a row. The CWU had balloted its 110,000 members in October with almost nine in 10 of voting in favour of strike action.
Royal Mail said it would apply for an injunction at the High Court to prevent industrial action, and won, having said the strike would be unlawful if the CWU did not follow dispute resolution procedures.
Talks have then made steady progress since October.
It marks the latest good news for Royal Mail, which last week reported revenue rising in the first nine months of the year as parcel volumes, especially in Europe, picked up.
The group delivered a six per cent rise in parcel volumes over the nine months to 24 December, with 149m parcels handled in December.