Postal workers have delivered a vote “overwhelmingly” in favour of the first national strike at Royal Mail since its controversial privatisation four years ago.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said the ballot among 110,000 staff backed walkouts by 89% on a turnout of 73%.
The result meant it met the 50% turnout threshold needed for industrial action to go ahead under controversial new Government strike legislation, the CWU said.
The union added it was to decide its strategy, including any future strike dates, at a meeting later this week but said the vote indicated a clear feeling among its members that bosses had lost trust and should step aside.
The result was announced just after financial markets had closed for the day – with the value of Royal Mails shares already down almost 17% in the year to date, partly reflecting strike concerns.
The dispute centres on the closure of Royal Mail’s final salary pension scheme to new entrants and also separate rows over pay and delivery office closures.
The CWU says its list of gripes with the company are all linked to its privatisation – accusing bosses of cost-cutting and asset-stripping to satisfy shareholders.
Deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger said: “This ballot result is hugely significant and demonstrates a strength of feeling that can only be translated as a massive vote of no confidence in the managerial leadership of the Royal Mail Group and the direction that they advocate.
“Any sense of vocational spirit and working together with management has been lost in a climate of fear and insecurity.
“This massive failure in trust has created a breakdown in relationships and a toxic environment where working together to solve difficult problems has become almost impossible.
“The managerial leadership has failed and should resign or be sacked.”