Royal Mail asks staff to switch offices or shifts to avoid strikes

Royal Mail bosses are offering to transfer postal workers into depots and give them minders if they cross picket lines in a bid to convert would-be strikers, the Mirror has reported.

The newspaper claims a letter sent to workers’ homes also offers them the chance to switch shifts, refrain from wearing uniform, or do an alternative job.

“We can arrange for you to be driven to work or we can provide an escort for entering and leaving your place of work,” the letter is reported to have said.

“If you are in deliveries, we can take you out by van to your walk or find you alternative work indoors.”

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU), which is leading the industrial action, accused management of “dirty tricks”.

Talks between union negotiators and management are due to resume today, after a seven-hour meeting yesterday ended at 4pm. Fresh walkouts are planned to take place tomorrow (Thursday 29 October), Friday and Saturday of this week, unless a new deal can be brokered.

The CWU is also furious that Royal Mail has hired 30,000 extra workers to clear the backlog of undelivered mail caused by earlier industrial action.

Yesterday, law firm Pinsent Masons said it was legal for firms to employ temporary workers to cover for striking employees, provided they were employed directly by the firm, and not by the agency.

Royal Mail said yesterday: “We will do all we can to support any people who choose to work.”

A Royal Mail spokeswoman could not confirm this morning whether a letter had been sent out to all workers.

The spokeswoman added: “We are doing everything we can do to support our people who want to come to work and deliver a service to our customers.”

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