Fresh talks planned to avert mail strikes

Royal Mail bosses and union chiefs are to hold fresh talks today (26 October) in a bid to avert a second wave of strikes planned for later this week.

Representatives from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Royal Mail will meet after TUC general secretary Brendan Barber asked the two parties to try again to break the deadlock in the dispute over pay, jobs and modernisation.

Postal workers staged a two-day strike last week and plan further walk-outs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week if an agreement is not reached.

News of the negotiations come as research by the London Chamber of Commerce reveals that strike action as cost British businesses about £500m since regional action began in the summer, with last week’s strikes alone costing an estimated £200m in lost income.

This after the DMA estimated last week that the cost to business of lost, postponed or cancelled direct mail campaigns could total £10m.

Advertiser body ISBA has also said companies could move their business away permanently and turn from direct mail to email as a consequence of strike action.

Yesterday (25 October) Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier told the BBC that the dispute could result in people deciding that this was the year to stop sending Christmas cards.

Crozier added he expected mail volumes to decline by up to 40% over the next three or four years, adding that the strike is only compounding the problem.

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