Workers at the UK’s Royal Mail on Tuesday voted in favor of going on strike, continuing their pushback against the company’s plans to replace its defined benefit pension (DB) scheme. Of the 73% of workers who voted, 89.1% were in favor of the strike, according to the Communications Workers Union (CWU), which last month called on more than 100,000 of its Royal Mail-employed members to take industrial action.
In May, Royal Mail announced that its DB plan would close to future accrual at the end of March 2018, with a defined contribution (DC) plan taking its place. The CWU said the change would cost pensioners, on average, up to one-third of their future benefits.
Although official strike dates have yet to be announced, the timing could potentially cancel Christmas for parcel delivery companies, causing significant log jams and delayed orders for consumers and retailers alike. Other parcel businesses would be spread extremely thin trying to pick up the slack, David Jinks, Head of Consumer Research for parcel price comparison website ParcelHero told Reuters. According to Reuters, potential strike dates will be determined at a CWU meeting Thursday.
In a statement, Royal Mail said that it would push for an agreement to be reached, as industrial action would be “damaging” for the company.
“A ballot result for industrial action does not necessarily mean there will be industrial action. Royal Mail is committed to further talks as a matter of urgency, to reach agreement with the CWU,” Royal Mail said in a statement. “National industrial action means the current offer from Royal Mail, including on pensions, will be taken off the table,” the company added.