Postal workers, who have just been given £3,500 worth of Royal Mail shares each, have voted for strike action.
The Communication Workers Union said a 24-hour strike would take place of 4th November with further action under consideration.
63 per cent of the 115,000 eligible Royal Mail staff voted in the ballot and 56,339 voted in favour of the strike (78 per cent of those who voted in the ballot).
The union also plans to hold a second ballot on a plan to boycott mail from competitors.
Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “What we want is a groundbreaking, long term, legally binding agreement that not only protects postal workers’ job security, pay and pensions – but will also determine the strategy, principles and values of how the Royal Mail Group will operate as a private entity.”
* Royal Mail is giving every eligible full time employee 725 free shares – at the market price on 15th October these are worth £3,545.25.
The allocation will have to be split over two tax years because the shares are worth more than £3,000 which is the maximum that can be allocated to an individual employee in any one tax year under HMRC rules.
As a result, it will have to split the allocation to give each employee 613 shares worth £2,997.57 under the 2013 SIP allocation. The other 112 shares will become part of the 2014 SIP allocation.