21M LETTERS DELAYED BY MAIL STRIKE; More walkouts to come.
POSTAL strikes have caused a backlog of over 21 million letters and parcels, union chiefs claimed last night.
And they warned the situation was about to get worse, with more industrial action planned over the next week.
The Communication Workers Union blames Royal Mail for the mayhem, claiming staff are only on strike because they are being bullied into making "unworkable" changes and facing job cuts and pay freezes.
Deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: "Royal Mail's head-in-the-sand approach to the problems in the industry is now severely damaging services for customers, with backlogs bigger than in the national strike of 2007.
"Management have been attacking and bullying members through unagreed changes.
"The dismissive attitude to staff at the same time as cuts to jobs, hours and overtime and a pay-freeze has made Royal Mail a dismal place to work."
The union claims 20 million items are sitting on sorting shelves in London still waiting to be sent. It says a million letters have yet to be cleared in Bristol, 500,000 in Peterborough and 250,000 in Leeds.
Fresh strikes will hit the capital today, followed by walkouts in Birmingham, Coventry, Essex, South Wales, Warrington, Bristol, Glasgow and Leeds.
Things could get worse as the union prepares to ballot 130,000 members for a national strike later this month.
London's postal workers first walked out in June and the dispute has been rumbling on ever since, depriving customers of vital mail, presents, cards, letters and other items.
But Royal Mail stringently denies bullying staff and claims the backlog of letters is "nearer four or five million".
A spokesman said: "We expect to clear it in the next few days.
"We reject the bullying claims. The changes we are making are fair and reasonable and entirely in line with existing agreements with the union."
WARNING Dave Ward SORT IT OUT Mail is piling up
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Sep 10, 2009|
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