Union leaders say the move breaks employment law and that the workers are being taken on to crush the series of planned strikes, while mail chiefs insist the hiring blitz is intended to clear the backlog of mail and is “entirely in line” with the law.
Royal Mail announced last month it was taking on the extra staff, twice the number it would usually hire at this time of the year, to cope with seasonal increases in mail.
News of the action comes as talks aimed at averting the latest round of planned strikes continue in London today (3 November).
The third wave of 24 hour national stoppages is planned for this Friday and the following Monday (9 November) and is set to involve all 121,000 members of the postal workers union.
The planned stoppages follow the three-day walk-out last week and an earlier two-day strike last month.