The Communications Workers Union is to hold a strike ballot at Royal Mail with papers going out from 27th September.
The dispute is over pay, pensions and the impact of privatisation on job security, terms and conditions.
Royal Mail said it was “very disappointed” that the CWU has confirmed that it is holding a national industrial action ballot of its members.
In a statement it said it had made a pay offer of 8.6 per cent over three years. On protecting employees, it said: “We have offered a legally-binding and enforceable contract with the CWU. Pay & protections could not be changed for the period of the contract without CWU agreement.”
It has commissioned an Ipsos MORI poll which found that that 72 per cent of British adults believe the CWU should accept Royal Mail’s pay offer and call off the plans to strike. In addition, 78 per cent felt that the Royal Mail’s pay offer of 8.6 per cent over three years was “very fair”or“fair”.
It said: “Royal Mail is still talking with the CWU to reach a new agreement and calls on the CWU to focus on these talks rather than preparing for industrial action. We wish to reach agreement as soon as possible to provide continued stability for our employees, our business and our customers.”
The CWU will ballot 115,000 postal workers in Royal Mail and Parcelforce, but not the Post Office which is a separate company. The result will be announced on 16th October. If there is a “yes” vote, a strike could start on 23rd October.