Bitter Row Ensues As Postal Strike Continues

A bitter war of words has erupted between the Royal Mail and the Communication Workers' Union as the postal strike continues.

Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier rubbished CWU's claims that the way the firm treated its employees was like "slavery". Mr Crozier accused the union of talking "cobblers".

Talking to BBC Radio 4's 'Today' show, Mr Crozier said that Royal Mail was only trying to make staff work their paid hours.

He said: "We are simply asking people to work the 37 hours and 20 minutes they are getting paid to work and if they have to work longer, then of course they get paid overtime.

"For the union to say they can't accept this is frankly not a tenable position."

Up to 130,000 CWU members are continuing in another 48-hour strike, which began on Monday and will last until 3am on Wednesday.

The workers have been on strike in a row over pay and pensions and the firm's modernisation plans, which Royal Mail insist are necessary in order to ensure that it remains competitive, but which the CWU says will cost thousands of jobs.

Last night, the CWU announced that more strikes would take place from next Monday, unless an agreement could be reached, after the latest round of talks ended in deadlock.

A statement released by the CWU on Monday night said: "Real progress has been made in many areas, but there is agreement in none. The offer includes a pay increase of 6.9% over two years, but this is subject to linking unacceptable strings including a reduction in pensions benefits. Royal Mail's proposals also include flexibility proposals that mean, among other things, that postal workers will not know what job they are doing from one day to the next."

Royal Mail has criticised the union's demands, saying that they are "unrealistic".


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