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Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Strike action hits post services
Postal strike
Royal Mail said the industrial action had a limited impact on services
Postal workers across Scotland have taken part in a day of strike action for the first time in a decade.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said picket lines were formed at all major postal centres in Scotland.

The action comes after members turned down a 2.5% pay increase and warned that Royal Mail plans could result in up to 40,000 job cuts.

Royal Mail said only six of its Scottish branches were closed due to the industrial action.

A ballot of CWU members found 77% in favour of the strike with the union blaming Royal Mail's "failure to take negotiations seriously" for the walkout.

Royal Mail are totally misinterpreting the numbers of people involved in this.
John Brown
Communication Workers Union

Regional secretary of the CWU John Brown said the vast majority of the union's 13,000 members had taken part in the strike.

He added: "We have had great support from members across the whole of Scotland.

"Royal Mail are totally misinterpreting the numbers of people involved in this.

"Many of the offices that they claim were open were staffed by managers as our members were on the picket line."

Direct management

But bosses at Royal Mail insisted the action had a limited effect for customers with only branches in Alloa, Fort William, Kirkwall, Frederick Street in Edinburgh, Hecla Avenue and Springburn Way in Glasgow being closed.

In a statement the company apologised for the disruption caused.

"We're doing all we can to mitigate the impact with management volunteers aiming to collect mail from Post Office branches and we are also delivering Special Delivery mail.

"The strike is simply ignoring the reality facing everyone in Royal Mail that we are no longer a monopoly and rivals this year will be handling one letter in every five posted."

Union members who staffed the 40 Crown post offices in Scotland - those under direct management by Post Office Ltd, and not operated under contract - took part in strike action between 0600 BST and noon.

Most sub-post offices and partner branches - totalling 1,624 - were open as normal.

A single collection from street boxes was carried out by managers and those branches not affected by the strike.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The two sides in the dispute



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