Postal workers set to strike

Thousands of postal workers across the UK are to strike on Friday in a worsening row over jobs, pay and services, threatening the worst disruption to deliveries for years, it was announced today.

Thousands of postal workers across the UK are to strike on Friday in a worsening row over jobs, pay and services, threatening the worst disruption to deliveries for years, it was announced today.

The Communication Workers Union said more than 12,000 of its members in cities ranging from London and Edinburgh to Bristol and Plymouth will walk out for 24 hours.

The action will be the latest stage in a series of strikes which have hit parts of the UK in recent weeks and is now threatening to escalate into a national dispute.

The union has accused Royal Mail of cutting the pay and jobs of postal workers without agreement and of reducing services.

mf Dave Ward, the union's deputy general secretary said: "There are serious and growing problems in the postal sector which urgently need resolving.

"We have renewed our offer of a three-month no-strike deal to Royal Mail in return for meaningful talks over modernisation.

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"The current cuts, bullying managers and ever-increasing workloads on a shrinking workforce cannot continue.

"Pressure and stress is at breaking point for postal workers."

The union accused Royal Mail of abandoning the final phase of a deal which ended a national strike in 2007, claiming there had been no negotiations over changes to working practices.

Workers taking part in Friday's strike include those based in London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Darlington, Stoke-on-Trent, Plymouth, Norfolk and Essex.

The union will also deliver protest letters to the Royal Mail's chief executive, Adam Crozier, and Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, and will release thousands of balloons over Royal Mail workplaces across the UK as part of a day of action.

The union said it was receiving an "ever-growing'' number of requests for industrial action from postal workers across the country.

Around 400 ballot requests have already been made and Mr Ward warned that without progress the dispute would turn into a national strike.

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