Postal workers at the Isle of Man Post Office (IMPO) have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay.
The ballot of over 250 postal workers, and members of the Communications Worker Union (CWU), closed on Wednesday 16 March with 84% voting for strike action.
The postal workers are seeking reward recognition for the 2009 period onwards, during which time a pay freeze has been in place.
The ballot follows months of negotiations between the CWU and the IMPO over the 2010 pay agreement. The post office has been unable to grant its employees a general pay rise in the wake of the freeze on all public sector pay budgets.
Terry Pullinger, assistant secretary at the CWU, said: “This is a compelling ballot result which sends a clear message to IMPO management. We now urge the company to return to talks to resolve this dispute and avoid any strike action.
“The strong result clearly demonstrates the depth of feeling of postal workers. They are a loyal and dedicated workforce that have returned outstanding quality of service and increased profits year on year and they believe, as does their union, that they deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.
“Equally, they have earned the right to have their case heard openly and impartially.
“It is the CWU’s genuine hope that this ballot result brings about a fair deal without the need of recourse to industrial action.”
Alan Crowe, chairman of the Isle of Man Post Office, said: “We are saddened that a majority have voted in favour of strike action. We appreciate and understand a pay freeze is difficult for all of our staff to accept. However we urge everyone regardless of the way they have voted not to strike.
“Isle of Man Post Office welcomes the CWU’s comment that the ballot result should be used to focus all parties not on strikes, but on solutions. We continue to be open to further talks with the union against the backdrop of the freeze on public sector pay budgets.
“Strike action would be reckless and its only outcome would be damage to the business, jeopardising customer and public support for the Post Office and putting jobs at risk. It would not change the freeze on public sector pay budgets that is currently in place.
“Isle of Man Post Office values the loyal and dedicated service of its staff, which is recognised by an attractive package of terms and conditions which compare favourably with those offered by other organisations in the public and private sectors.
“However, employees throughout the Island’s economy are having to exercise restraint in the current unprecedented financial circumstances, and Isle of Man Post Office is no exception to this.”
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