The British postal workers union sent a strike ballot to 140,000 members yesterday after talks broke down earlier in the day.
The Communication Workers Union said no progress was made at the meeting with managers from Consignia, the British post office, according to reports. The union wants a pay raise of 5 percent. Consignia has offered a 2 percent raise, with 0.5 percent more if service quality targets are met.
Talks are set to resume later this week. The ballot result is due in early February, with a strike possible in March.
“We very much regret that the union is going ahead with the ballot while conciliation continues,” said a spokesman for Consignia's Royal Mail division. “We are very disappointed that the union is even contemplating threatening customers with disruption with this ballot.”
Staff size at Royal Mail already faces uncertainty after Consignia discussed putting up to 30,000 jobs on the line as part of a plan to trim costs $1.7 billion by April 2003.