UK Postal Union Votes Down Strike

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Members of the United Kingdom's postal union narrowly voted against a strike of Royal Mail, union officials announced yesterday.

Communications Workers Union members voted 48,038-46,301 not to strike, rejecting calls from union heads who had exhorted members to support the strike. In a statement, union leadership said the vote was disappointing but that Royal Mail could not view the slim margin as a mandate to cut jobs.

The union is committed to a settlement and available for further negotiations with Royal Mail, according to the statement.

Prior to the collapse of talks in August, Royal Mail had offered workers a pay increase of up to 14.5 percent over 18 months based on productivity improvements with 4.5 percent guaranteed, but the union wants more money upfront.

In a separate ballot, London-based postal workers voted 11,417-4,316 in favor of a strike. Union officials said they had a "clear mandate" for a strike in London and would consider their next move over the coming days.

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