Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have today resumed talks in an attempt to avert a second wave of postal strikes later this week.
If an agreement cannot be reached during the talks, which are being held at the Trades Union Congress, postal workers will start their three-day walk out on Thursday this week.
The CWU told the BBC it was a “huge, positive change” that Mark Higson, Royal Mail’s managing director was at the talks, as he had not been present at previous negotiations.
The TUC’s general secretary Brendan Barber will broker the negotiations.
The union’s proposed three days of industrial action would start at 4am on Thursday when 43,700 staff from mail centres, delivery units and network logistic drivers and garage staff would go on strike.
This would be followed on Friday by the strike of 400 workers who help to enter mail addresses in Plymouth, Stockport and Stoke, while on Saturday 77,000 delivery and collection staff across the UK plan to walk out.
The CWU told Personnel Today it was continuing to seek legal advice about whether it can take Royal Mail to court over its use of 30,000 agency workers to clear the backlog in post created by the strikes.
The CWU said on Saturday that the backlog was in excess of 100m items. Royal Mail initially predicted the backlog would reach 30m items but today said the backlog in delayed post would fall to 5m items by the end of the day.