A pay deal that helped end months of strike action at Royal Mail is at risk of falling apart after the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said today it would suspend its upcoming vote on the agreement over concerns with the company’s “toxic” working environment.
The agreement, struck last month, included a 10 per cent salary increase and a one-off lump sum of £500. The union, which represents about 115,000 postal workers, recommended that its members approve the deal.
But the CWU said in a statement today that “the environment we are attempting to deliver this agreement in remains toxic”.
“Royal Mail Group has not stepped back from their attacks in the workplace,” the union said.
The union warned that unless Royal Mail dropped their “culture of imposition” then “the integrity of the negotiators agreement will be irreparably damaged”.
As a result, the union said it has agreed to suspend the vote on the deal.
“This must be the wakeup call that senior management need to change the culture of imposition, command and control and finally show the humility required to deliver the agreement and change in a way that takes the workforce with them,” the union said.
A spokesperson for Royal Mail said it fully supports the deal and said approving it would help the company move forward.
“The need to change is critical so that we can improve our quality of service, deliver for our customers and get back to profitability,” the spokesperson said. “The sooner we can get a positive ballot result the sooner we can give our people the pay rise that we have agreed with the CWU and provide greater job security.”
Royal Mail’s owner, International Distributions Services, last week blamed strike action on a full-year loss of more than £1bn, which it reported last week.
The news also comes after regulator Ofcom opened an investigation into Royal Mail’s failure to meet its annual delivery targets for first and second class mail and deliveries – and could hit the company with a fine.
Some 74 per cent of first class mail was delivered within one working day across the year, well below its target of 93 per cent.