Three quarters of postal workers have voted to strike over pay, following threats to take industrial action earlier this week.

Postal services will be upset unless emergency talks between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) can avert the decision.

About 130,000 CWU members plan to walk out over Royal Mail’s 2.5 per cent pay offer, as well as proposed changes to operations which have infuriated employees.

Commenting on the ballot result, CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said the message was clear.

“Royal Mail workers have rejected the company’s business plan, the company’s leadership and an unacceptable pay offer,” he said.

“This is the clearest message we have had from the workforce so the Royal Mail has to listen and return to serious negotiations.”

Royal Mail has reacted by saying it has made a “realistic and fair” offer which includes a 2.5 per cent increase in basic pensionable pay.

The effect of the strike could severely damage the UK economy, especially small businesses, the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses Clive Davenport has warned.

“They employ over half of the private sector workforce in the UK and are totally reliant on the Royal Mail,” he said.

“A cheque delayed in the post can mean the difference between life and death for a small business, which means that this strike cannot be allowed to go ahead.” ADNFCR-8000151-ID-18172912-ADNFCR

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