24/02/2006

Talks to continue to prevent postal strike

Talks between the Communications Workers Union and Royal Mail are to resume today in a bid to prevent another postal strike.

Today's meeting is expected to discuss the appointment of a third party to help deal with relations between management and union representatives as agreed under the terms that brought the two-week dispute to an end.

After yesterday's discussions, both parties emerged saying that progress had been made.

The meeting was arranged following claims by the CWU that postal staff who had been involved in the unofficial strike had been victimised since returning to work last weekend.

The CWU also threatened to authorise a ballot of its members to vote on whether or not to resume strike action, after claims that Royal Mail had gone back on their word since last week.

Around 800 postal workers from the Tomb Street depot in Belfast began an unofficial strike on January 31 following disputes with management over disciplinary procedures and alleged cases of bullying.

Royal Mail denied these claims.

During this time, postal services in parts of Belfast were brought to a standstill. The knock-on effect on homes and businesses throughout the province is still being felt as a backlog of post will take weeks to clear.

The strike ended last Friday, when an agreement was reached between the CWU and Royal Mail.

(EF/SP)

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