Postal strikes called off

The
wildcat postal strikes are to end after a deal was thrashed out overnight
between the Royal Mail and leaders of the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

A
joint statement said: "The Royal Mail and the CWU are both pleased to have
reached an understanding that allows both parties to recommend a return to
work. We will be talking to our people today and will now go to [the
arbitration service] Acas to resolve all outstanding issues relating to pay and
major change.

"We
wish to apologise to customers for the huge inconvenience that has been caused
and our first priority is to clear the backlog that has built up and get
services back to normal."

The
strikes, which started two weeks ago, have held up millions of letters.

The
dispute started after in Southall, west London, after drivers were suspended.

Details
of the new agreement are to be announced later.

By Quentin Reade

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