http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/brist ... use-466550
Shoppers could face a Christmas of chaos if postal workers at Royal Mail decide to take industrial action.
Ballots on asking whether workers support strike action have been sent out to members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) this week.
If approved, the union is warning of industrial action which could last up to and including Christmas.
Some 100,000 postal workers are members of the CWU across the country and 3,000 work in the Bristol area - 1,000 of them at the company’s regional mail centre in Filton.
The union is proposing to strike over employment standards and pension security.
Royal Mail was privatised three years ago and at the time of the sale a set of work and pension promises were agreed to protect employees until 2019.
These terms are now up for negotiation and the company has made several proposals, such as shifting the working day to later in the afternoon and ending the current pension scheme.
CWU general secretary, Dave Ward, said: "Postal workers are under relentless pressure to work faster, harder and cheaper. This has nothing to do with driving growth and innovation, it's all about the tired old thinking of privatisation and asset striping.
“When hundreds of millions of pounds are being paid out every year to hedge funds, as Royal Mail plans to slash workers’ pension entitlements and deny them a pay rise, there is something fundamentally wrong with the business model.”
Industrial action could start as early as next month, but CWU is yet to set out the form of the strikes.
In response, a Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We remain committed to reaching a negotiated agreement with the CWU on pay and pensions, and other issues we have been discussing. A ballot does not necessarily mean there will be industrial action.”