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More post strikes now on the cards; Further walk-outs next Thursday.

Byline: EXAMINER

A FRESH wave of postal strikes will be held next week in an escalation of the bitter Royal Mail dispute, union leaders announced last night.

The Communication Workers Union served notice of further walk-outs starting next Thursday as thousands of postal workers manned picket lines in the first of two 24-hour walk-outs yesterday.

Details of how long the new strikes will last and which group of workers will be involved will be announced in the coming days.

The union also offered "unconditional" talks at the conciliation service Acas in a bid to break the deadlocked dispute over jobs, pay and modernisation.

Mark Higson, Royal Mail's managing director, said it was "appalling but sadly not surprising" that more strikes had been called.

The new stoppages will cause further disruption to mail deliveries, which are already facing big delays because of this week's action.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged Royal Mail management and postal workers to get "round the table" to solve the dispute, saying the strike was "self-defeating".

Mr Brown, who was speaking during a walkabout in the centre of Wakefield, warned: "If more and more customers leave the Royal Mail and more and more customers stop using the Royal Mail, then more jobs will be lost, so this is selfdefeating."

The union said the walk-out was "solidly supported" as leaders stepped up their attack on Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, accusing him of telling "untruths".

Pickets were joined by other union activists, waving banners and flags, with slogans including Defend Our Postal Services, and Protect Our Pensions, attracting hoots of support from passing motorists.

CAPTION(S):

ACTION: A postal worker on the picket line
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 23, 2009
Words:275
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