Royal Mail PLC (LON:RMG) seemed to breathe a sigh of relief on Wednesday afternoon after members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which includes over 100,000 of its workers, voted by over 90% in favour of a new pay and strategy deal.

The framework agreement, originally announced by the mail carrier in December, includes a two-year pay deal that will see CWU members pay increased 2.7% from April and a further 1% from April 2021, as well as a second hour of the shorter working week to be implemented before the end of October.

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The agreement will also allow Royal Mail to make more frequent revisions to the network and introduce the use of technology to improve both customer service and efficiency, with the company adding that revisions and realignment activity is planned across all of its operations by the end of October and annually thereafter.

The changes include replacing handwritten manual sign‐in / sign‐out structures as well as revised and quicker dispute resolution process to enable agreement on changes to happen more quickly, and a process to trial and deploy new ways of working and technology more swiftly.

The firm also said a review of its operational network will conclude in by April to support and build on proposals for its parcel network as well as to maintain an efficient letters operation and prioritise investment for further expansion.

Royal Mail said it is now working with the CWU to implement the changes in the deal in order to capitalise on what it said was “significant growth” in parcels so far this year.

Shares in the company were flat at 411.3p in late-afternoon trading.