Postal workers in London are set to stage a three-day strike from today in a row over the modernisation of the service.
Delivery workers will strike today, while distribution and logistics staff will walk out on Thursday, and mail centre staff will strike on Friday.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents the postal workers, has accused Royal Mail of making efficiency cuts without modernising the service. But Royal Mail has said the union is attempting to “halt the modernisation process which is crucial to the company’s survival”.
Royal Mail refused to agree to a deal where workers would not strike for three months so long as there were focused negotiations on modernisation. A spokesperson for Royal Mail claimed the CWU’s offer of a reprieve from industrial action was “misleading nonsense”.
Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “Strike action in London is in response to Royal Mail’s continuing executive action of cuts without modernisation.
“There’s no machinery, no redesigning of deliveries and no improvement on industrial relations. The company has abandoned the final phase of the 2007 Pay and Modernisation agreement and is set on piling more work and pressure on already stretched staff. It’s now clear that Royal Mail management is the biggest block to modernisation.”
But Royal Mail has urged the CWU to call off the strikes and continue negotiations.
The spokesperson for the postal service added: “All our customers and stakeholders, including our shareholder, the government, are encouraging Royal Mail to modernise even more quickly, yet the CWU persists in opposing change.
“Royal Mail again urges the union to call off the strikes and to rejoin the dialogue to which both the union and Royal Mail signed up as part of the 2007 agreement.”
The CWU will also hold a national strike and demonstration on 17 July.