Letter and parcel deliveries could be thrown into disarray over Christmas as Royal Mail workers threaten to launch strike action.
More than 100,000 members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have been balloted over strike action, with the results expected on Tuesday.
If passed, the ballot is expected to lead to a mass walkout over the Christmas period or on Black Friday at the end of November, the Sunday Times reported.
The planned strike, which could be the postal service’s largest strike action in more than a decade, comes in protest at a raft of issues, including pay and conditions.
The CWU has also criticised boss Rico Back over an apparent threat to Royal Mail’s universal service obligation, which requires it to deliver anywhere in the UK six days a week for a set price.
It comes in a period of upheaval for Royal Mail, which has suffered a share price drop of more than 45 per cent in the last year as it struggles to fend off competition from rivals such as Hermes and Whistl.
The company last week appointed headhunters to search for a director to help turnaround its struggling UK business.
“We all want a successful and sustainable company that provides good quality jobs, fairness in workloads, and continues delivering a sustainable universal service,” said Shane O’Riordain, the Royal Mail’s managing director of regulation and corporate affairs.
“Industrial action – or the threat of it – undermines the trust of our customers. It makes it harder for Royal Mail to pay for the existing industry-leading terms and conditions it provides.”
Royal Mail said it was committed to “open and constructive engagement” with the CWU.
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