Furious Isle of Man Postal workers will walk out for two days next week in protest against an “outrageous attack on their job security, pensions, terms and conditions,” the CWU announced today.

On an enormous 91 per cent turnout, the company’s CWU membership voted by an even more enormous 93 per cent for the action, in a reflection of the anger felt at management’s plans to slash pensions benefits, impose a below-inflation pay settlement and introduce a two-tier employment model.

Explaining the issues at stake, deputy general secretary postal Terry Pullinger described the company’s new governing board as “anti-union” and accused them of wanting to “slash everything in a race to the bottom.”

The employer wants to close the existing pension scheme to new entrants and recruit new staff on lower pay rates – plans which would, Terry warns, introduce “two-tier employment” into the business.

But management are also gunning for existing employees too, with proposals to cut the benefits in the current scheme as well, award a below-inflation 1 per cent pay settlement, buy out a range of allowances and move away from long-established voluntary redundancy arrangements, while they also want to reduce delivery days from six to five per week.

Against the backdrop of these management plans, members met last month and unanimously resolved to request the industrial action ballot – a request which was endorsed by the full postal executive.

Following the announcement of the ballot result, the CWU executive met today and approved plans for a two-day postal strike right across the island, on Thursday the 13th December and Friday 14th.

Terry pointed out that “the postal services we seek to protect are not just for Christmas, we have not chosen the timing of this dispute and we have offered the employer the 10th, 11th and 12th for intense negotiations to resolve these issues.”

Describing the Isle of Man members’ ballot verdict as “a compelling indication of the strength of feeling, but also a massive vote of ‘no confidence’ in the Board.

“This huge turnout and ‘Yes’ vote clearly proves that not only do our Isle of Man members oppose management’s strategy, but they are ready and willing to stand up and fight.

“I’m asking every branch of this great union to show full solidarity and support to our Isle of Man members at this time.

“If we all stand together – this union can win and will win.”