A SOUTHAMPTON Royal Mail union representative has warned the city could face disruption to postal services as hundreds of workers could go on strike. 

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are being balloted over strike action following disputes over jobs and pay.

If the majority is in favour of walking out, residents could see disruption with their post from as early as September. 

Rob Hayhurst, an area delivery representative for 19 Royal Mail branches across the county, including Shirley and Bitterne Manor, said there are more than 150 strike supporters in the city.

The 48-year-old said: “I have worked for 20 years. Through disputes in 2007 and 2009 and in all of my time, I have never seen the workers so energised and angry. 

“We worked through a pandemic and delivered profits. At the time we didn’t know if [Covid] was airborne or something so essentially, we were risking our lives.” 

The outcry is in response to Royal Mail’s decision to cut 700 jobs and slash pay despite raking in profits of £311 million in 2021, according to the union. 

In a tweet, the firm said it was "disappointed" with the ballot.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: "We are losing £1 million pounds a day and we need to change what we are doing to fix the situation. 

"A second ballot is a ballot against the change we need to win, and is premature.

"It is another sign that the CWU are against the change required to modernise our business so we can compete, grow and succeed in the future.

"We stand ready to talk to the CWU but it must be about both change and pay. We offered a deal worth up to 5.5 per cent for CWU grade colleagues, the biggest increase we have offered for many years, which the CWU rejected. 

"But in a business that lost £92 million in the first quarter, we can only fund this offer by making the changes that will pay for it and ensure Royal Mail can grow and remain competitive in a fast-moving industry."

Picket lines could be formed across several Hampshire postal offices including Winchester, Alresford, Romsey, Lymington, Shirley, and Bitterne Manor.

The strike voting will close on August 17.

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