New financial figures show that Royal Mail has delivered an operating loss for the first time in six years.
The worse-than-expected figures are likely to be used as ammunition in the postal conglomerate’s ongoing battle with unions about pay and thousands of potential job cuts.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has given the Royal Mail less than four weeks to reach an agreement over postal workers’ pay and conditions.
The CWU called off the latest round of proposed postal strikes ealier this month after talks with Royal Mail, which confirmed both parties would reach an agreement over the workers’ pay and modernisation dispute by 4 September.
Two weeks of continuous disruption has already been caused to mail services across the country, following strike action last month.
Royal Mail reported an operating loss of £12m last year after profits of £197m in 2005-06.