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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Graham Hiscott & Thomas Molloy

Royal Mail strikes threaten to cause Christmas 'mail meltdown' if pay breakthrough not found

A union leader warned that there could be a Christmas 'mail meltdown' if a breakthrough over issues including pay is not found between Royal Mail bosses and postal workers.

Images said to have been taken in the last few days shows mountains of packed mail bags that have reportedly started to pile up at depots, including ones in the North West, amid strikes. The latest 48-hour strike ended today (Thursday December 1) but further strike days are planned on December 9, 11, 14, 15, 23 and 24, the Mirror reports.

Communication Workers Union (CWU) general secretary Dave Ward claimed that “posties are willing to bend over backwards to clear [the backlog," while Royal Mail has said it will deliver as much priority mail as possible on strike days.

READ MORE : Emergency three-hour blackouts are a real possibility in Greater Manchester this winter - this is how they would impact millions of people

The row centres on issues including pay, redundancies and start times. CWU claims Royal Mail wants to become a parcel courier reliant on casual labour and the union has accused boss Simon Thompson of refusing to attend what it claimed was a key meeting last week.

The latest 48-hour strike by members of the Communication Workers Union ends on Thursday (Mirror)

General secretary Dave Ward said: “It’s beyond me why he didn’t bother turning up to the meeting that could have averted these strikes. Simon Thompson’s obsession with forcing through the destruction of workers’ living standards has risked a national mail meltdown at Christmas.”

Royal Mail said Mr Thompson has been involved in the talks with the CWU for seven months, including four weeks of talks at conciliation service ACAS. He was not at the meeting last week but a source claimed it was held online and lasted a few minutes.

A spokesman for Royal Mail added: “We have the best pay and conditions in our industry. In an industry dominated by insecure work and low pay, our model sets us apart and we want to preserve it. We remain available to meet to discuss our best and final offer worth up to 9pc.”

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