Royal Mail Group (LON:RMG) will use all legal options to fight a strike by the Communication Workers Union (CWU), the company has said. The news came as the CWU served notice for a two-day walkout later this month.
Royal Mail’s share price closed marginally lower yesterday, shedding 0.37 percent to end the session at 372.80p. The group’s shares have lost more than 23 percent of their value over the past year, and are down by just under a fifth in the year-to-date.
Royal Mail announced in a statement yesterday that it had received confirmation from the CWU that it was planning two days of industrial disruption at or after 11am on Thursday, October 19, to before 11am Saturday, October 21. The announcement came after the union said earlier this week that 89.1 percent of voters had backed strike action, with 73 percent of the CWU’s 110,000 Royal Mail members participating in the vote.
“Royal Mail is very disappointed by this announcement from the CWU. The Company is committed to further talks as a matter of urgency to reach agreement with the CWU,” the postal operator said, noting that it will be writing to the union, invoking an external mediation process. The Financial Times meanwhile quoted the CWU as saying that it had been in talks for 18 months, including the use of an external mediator.
“We have exhausted the process,” the union added.
The strike vote came as Royal Mail unveiled plans earlier this year to scrap its defined benefits pension plan, arguing that it is unaffordable beyond next year, and replace it with an alternative, less costly scheme.
The privatised postal operator is scheduled to update investors on its interim performance on November 16.