Business

Royal Mail workers' strike cancelled

CWU picket from 2009
Image caption The Royal Mail was privatised earlier this month, an act opposed by many workers

A Royal Mail workers' strike planned for Monday has been called off after progress was made in talks over pay and pensions.

The Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said they were committed to "finalising an agreement" by 13 November.

The planned industrial action would have been the first national strike at Royal Mail in almost four years.

The Royal Mail was privatised earlier this month.

Staff were given free shares in the company in an attempt to improve labour relations, with staff not allowed to sell their shares for at least three years.

Royal Mail shares are trading well above the 330p sale price they launched at earlier this month.

An offer made by Royal Mail management in the summer also included an 8.6% pay rise over three years.

But CWU members voted for strike action earlier in October after unions leaders called the deal "misleading and unacceptable", and demanded a longer-term agreement to protect postal workers' job security, pay and pensions.

The original ballot involved 115,000 postal workers in Royal Mail and Parcelforce, but not the Post Office, which is a separate business.

According to a joint statement issued by Royal Mail and the CWU, a new agreement will include an improved pay offer and a separate agreement for pensions.

Both parties said they would "ensure all our efforts are focused on reaching an agreement" by 13 November.

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