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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 18:22 GMT 19:22 UK
Latest postal strike called off
Striking Royal Mail workers
Postal workers would vote on the deal's conditions by post
The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) has called off strike action which had been set for later this week.

It came as the CWU executive discussed whether to accept a deal with the Royal Mail - its meeting is set to reconvene on Wednesday.

CWU leaders must decide whether or not to recommend the offer, aimed at ending a dispute over pay, jobs and pensions.

The Royal Mail has offered the CWU a 6.9% pay rise over two years, and consultation on pension reform.

A series of 48-hour stoppages and unofficial walkouts in recent weeks is estimated to have cost Royal Mail more than 200m.

The union had plans for strikes to be carried out in various parts of the country on different days this week.

Marathon talks

6.9% pay rise from 1 October 07 to 1 April 09
Consultation on ending final salary pension scheme
Flexible working to be trialled and agreed locally

The outline agreement was hammered out last week during marathon talks with Royal Mail's chief executive Adam Crozier.

Yet despite Friday's breakthrough, wildcat strikes have continued to disrupt services in some areas.

Unofficial action has been taking place in Yorkshire and Liverpool, with union representatives in Yorkshire reportedly opposed to working later hours.

In a survey of more than 250 company heads, half of the respondents said the strike had cost their companies at least 1,000.

According to the London Chamber of Commerce, the nationwide mail strikes have cost the city more than 300m.

Flexible working

A ballot of 130,000 workers will be called if the CWU leadership accepts the Royal Mail settlement.

A simple majority would be needed to approve the deal. The results would be declared one month later.

While no details have been released, the BBC understands that the 6.9% pay rise over 18 months will consist of a 5.4% pay rise between 1 October 2007 and 1 April 2008, followed by a 1.5% pay rise from 1 April 2008 to 1 April 2009. Workers will also receive a lump sum payment of 175.

In addition, the CWU has agreed to support consultation on ending the current final salary pension scheme.

The CWU has previously said that the Royal Mail's modernisation plans would cost 40,000 jobs.

Postal workers picket a distribution centre

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