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Post strike misery grows

PUBLISHED: 17:17 04 November 2009 | UPDATED: 17:18 25 August 2010

THE massive backlog of five million letters is expected to swell even further as postal workers announced all-out strikes to take place tomorrow and Monday. Unless an agreement is reached all members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will take in

THE massive backlog of five million letters is expected to swell even further as postal workers announced all-out strikes to take place tomorrow and Monday.

Unless an agreement is reached all members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will take industrial action on both days in contrast to last week's walkouts which involved different parts of the organisation striking on different days.

Last week, a Times' poll revealed how the majority of Bexley residents are against the action, with 37 people out of 60 interviewed said they did not support them.

It exposed the detrimental effect the action was having on residents and businesses.

Kay Smith who runs Supply and Demand, a leading provider of teaching staff to schools in Bexley and Bromley, said: "We are waiting for cheques to come in so this strike is hitting our bank balance.

"There's a stack of invoices we need to get out but we know full well they will be delayed because of a huge backlog in the system. It's dreadful."

Royal Mail is due to be served a notice of action by the CWU in the High Court tomorrow for taking on 30,000 temporary staff which the union claims is against the law.

The organisation always hires Christmas workers to help with the extra workload but the CWU claims there are nearly double the number of temporary staff normally employed.

It is illegal for businesses to take on agency workers to do the work of staff involved in lawful industrial action.

But a Royal Mail spokeswoman said: "The up to 30,000 directly engaged, fully-vetted temporary workers being hired by Royal Mail to help us clear any mail delayed by strikes and help with Christmas volumes are entirely in line with all employment law."

Talks resumed on Tuesday between the CWU, Royal Mail and the Trades Union Congress which has been acting as a mediator but no deal had been made as the Times went to press.

Action has been set for 121,000 postal workers UK-wide for 24 hours from 3am tomorrow and for 24 hours from 3am next Monday.

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