The threat of a strike by Britain’s 150,000 postal workers has receded with the news that Consignia (the recently rebranded UK post office) and the Communication Workers Union have forged a deal.

The CWU announced that an agreement hammered out in the last few days will ensure that the 30,000 redundancies Consignia plans over the next three years will all be voluntary, while pay levels will be protected for those employees who are found replacement jobs elsewhere in the company.

Cash-burning Consignia is desperate to overhaul operations and reduce expenses as it tries to remain solvent, though its proposed programme of layoffs raised the spectre of strike action [WAMN: 25-Mar-02].

The agreement with the CWU is expected to cost the firm £400 million (€651m; $575m) in redundancy and relocation costs. The union’s postal executive committee has yet to back the agreement, with a decision expected today (Thursday).

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff