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Royal Mail confident of end to postal staff strike.

Byline: Neil Connor

Royal Mail bosses were last night confident that strikers at a Birmingham sorting office will return to work today -despite workers yesterday ignoring pleas by their union to end the two-day dispute.

An agreement was reached between management at the Castle Bromwich sorting office and representatives of the Communications Workers Union following discussions held yesterday, a Royal Mail spokesman said.

However, about 40 striking workers yesterday ignored pleas by union representatives and bosses to return to work, and thousands of homes experienced mail delays after they staged a walkout in an overtime dispute.

Fears were raised that the strike could bring postal deliveries in Birmingham to a standstill.

But Richard Hall, spokesman for Royal Mail Midlands, said: 'Productive talks have taken place between management at Royal Mail Birmingham and representatives of the Communication Workers Union with both parties determined to restore full service to our customers.

'As a result of the talks an agreement has been reached which we believe will be acceptable to employees based at the Castle Bromwich delivery office. The proposals will be put to employees on Thursday morning and we are confident that staff will accept these and return to work.'

Royal Mail managers had been deployed at the sorting office to clear the backlog affecting the B35 and B36 Castle Bromwich postcodes. Ray Stockdale, CWU branch secretary in Birmingham, said: 'We asked workers to go back to work to get an official ballot but they refused and went home. I have got sympathy for them but we are continuing to look for a return to work.'
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 21, 2003
Words:264
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