Postal strikes are set to continue across the country as workers prepare to vote in a nationwide strike ballot, causing businesses to call for government intervention.
Five delivery offices, Cambridge, Ely, Haddenham, Isleham and Soham are set to strike for 24 hours, while Norwich will strike from 6am to 10am, the Telegraph has reported. London offices will strike on Tuesday, followed by the Midlands, Yorkshire and Carlisle.
The strikes have already caused a backlog of 20 million items of undelivered post, and are set to cause further major disruption, according to the Communications and Workers Union (CWU).
The result of the national strike ballot will be released on 8 October.
A CWU spokesan said: “We’ve already started the ball rolling with the national ballot and will continue the process unless we get a deal with Royal Mail but the pressure put on Royal Mail has brought them to the table.”
The union has accused Royal Mail of “arbitary” job cuts, replacing full-time roles with part-time ones, and continues to be in dispute about the postal service’s latest pay offer.
Royal Mail criticised the decision to press ahead with the ballot as “wholly irresponsible”.
John Cridland, the deputy director general of the CBI, called the action disruptive, warning that small businesses and those firms involved in direct mailing would be worst affected.
The Direct Marketing Association called on the government to take action to help resolve the dispute.
Robert Keitch, the trade body’s head of membership, said: “It is quite clear that businesses cannot sustain these interruptions indefinitely.
“Should relations deteriorate further and a national postal strike take effect, this would have a significant impact on businesses that rely on issuing invoices and receiving payment via post.”