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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 19:54 GMT 20:54 UK
Union sets Royal Mail strike date
Royal Mail delivery van
Any national postal strike would be the first since 1996
Royal Mail workers are to hold a 24-hour strike on Friday, 29 June, the main postal union has confirmed.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) blamed the walkout on Royal Mail bosses not taking negotiations seriously, and said further strikes could follow.

Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier said the organisation was "very disappointed" and would do all it could to limit the impact of the walkout.

The dispute is over pay and the union's fears of potential job cuts.

The strike will be the first nationwide walkout at the Royal Mail since 1996.

Both sides have said they would welcome additional talks.

'Refusing to negotiate'

"We've tried our hardest to reach a negotiated settlement with the company, but the truth is again that Royal Mail are refusing to negotiate whatsoever on reaching a settlement before strike action takes place," said CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward.

"We have also agreed further strike action within two weeks from 29 June that is designed to maximise the impact on Royal Mail but at minimum cost to the CWU members."

Mr Ward added that the strike would include Post Office workers as well as Royal Mail delivery staff.

In addition to turning down the Royal Mail's 2.5% pay offer, the CWU fears the Royal Mail's ongoing restructuring plans will cause up to 40,000 job cuts.

'Losing business'

The Royal Mail counters that it cannot afford to offer any more money and needs to make itself more efficient.

"We are losing business because we have failed to change and modernise - and as a result, our costs and therefore our prices are higher than those that rivals are charging in the intensely competitive business mail market, which makes up 90% of all postings," said Mr Crozier.

"That's the issue everyone in Royal Mail has to face and why we are so ready to continue talking with the union about the need to modernise."

CWU members at the Royal Mail voted for the strike action with a majority of 77% on a turnout of 60%.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
A customer on how the strike will affect his business



SEE ALSO
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Postal workers to vote on strikes
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Royal Mail pension scheme threat
08 Feb 07 |  Business

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