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Royal Mail Workers To Go On Strike

Christmas post deliveries are to be affected in Coventry after union leaders announced a 24-hour strike in a dispute over working conditions.

There will be no deliveries in Coventry on Monday and the few collections that are carried out from boxes will be carried out by temporary staff and managers.

Members of the Communication Workers’ Union voted for the stoppage after failing to make a breakthrough in the long-running row.

They are to stage a 24-hour walk-out at the Bishop Street sorting office from midnight on Sunday. It expected to cause havoc as it is the busiest time of the year for the post service.

CWU regional office Mick Kavanagh said discussions in London aimed at stopping the action had failed. He added that the area manager from Coventry “couldn’t be bothered” to go to the meeting.

The dispute is over a national agreement over working hours, which CWU members in Coventry say isn’t being implemented locally.

The working week should have been reduced from six days to five, and from 41.5 hours to 40.

This should have been implemented months ago, but industrial action was decided on in August after it was revealed that only 30 per cent of workers in Coventry had been transferred to the new arrangements.

Royal Mail spokesman Mike Dalton said area managers were not supposed to go to national meetings to discuss these matters, and the unions would have protested had they been in London.

He said the agreement provided for a five-day week where it could be achieved within the budgets, and this did not mean that all workers should expect it.

Mr Dalton said the workers were bringing maximum disruption to customers at the busiest time of year.

He said:

"To keep the ballot going they only need to take action for 15 minutes. They could return to work after that to minimise inconvenience to our customers."

Mr Dalton added that discussions would continue with unions in the New Year.

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