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Royal Mail in 11th hour bid to stop postal strike

PUBLISHED: 16:14 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 05 October 2010

ROYAL Mail today issued an 11th hour appeal to try and avert tomorrow’s strike by 10,000 London postal workers. The walkout is in response to job cuts the union claims are being made even before automation is brought in to speed up how letters are sorted

By Mike Brooke

REGIONAL bosses at Royal Mail today issued an 11th hour appeal to try and avert tomorrow’s strike by 10,000 London postal workers.

The walkout in all postal districts outside central London is in response to job cuts the CWU union claims are being made in London even before automation is brought in to speed up how letters are sorted.

“We urge them not to call our people out on strike action,” Royal Mail’s London HQ said in a statement to the East London Advertiser today.

“A strike will not modernise Royal Mail. It can only hurt customers and damage our drive to build a sustainable future in the competitive marketplace and will leave Royal Mail far less able to protect full-time jobs.”

POST CODE

New hi-tech computers which sort out deliveries by post code in walk order’ sequences down to the last house will revolutionise the postal service while it struggles with business falling by 10 per cent a year.

But jobs are already being threatened in London before the computerised automation is installed, the union claims. Royal Mail denies announcing any redundancies.

The union’s deputy general secretary Dave Ward issued a statement at lunchtime blaming Royal Mail for breaking a 2007 agreement to negotiate on modernisation.

IMPASSE

“Royal Mail can’t have it both ways,” he said. “We are now seeing cuts in the postal industry, but not modernisation.”

The impasse means tomorrow’s strike goes ahead in postal districts across East London as well as north, north-west, west, south-west and south-east London, with Royal Mail giving online advice on how to deal with the dispute.

Two major sorting offices in central London remain working because of strike balloting problems, Mount Pleasant in Clerkenwell and Rathbone Place in the West End.


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