Royal Mail staff in Leeds go on strike causing Christmas delivery chaos amid claims 'letters scattered' everywhere
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Thousands of Royal Mail workers have staged rallies to mark another strike in the increasingly bitter dispute over jobs, pay and conditions. Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have gathered outside of Parliament, with little sign the long running row will be resolved soon.
Further strikes are also planned on Sunday and well as on December 14, 15, 23 and 24 and Royal Mail has already warned people to post their Christmas cars earlier than usual this year to ensure they arrive no time.
At a mail centre in Leeds, one member of staff sent the Yorkshire Evening Post pictures of large piles of mail left “scattered all over” and blamed the chaos on Royal Mail not organising offering overtime or bringing in additional equipment for the Christmas period. Royal Mail responded saying that strike action had exacerbated issues at centres and added that the images “are not unusual for peak season”.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We spent three more days at Acas this week to discuss what needs to happen for the strikes to be lifted. In the end, all we received was another request for more pay, without the changes needed to fund the pay offer. The CWU know full well that in a business losing more than £1 million a day, we need to agree changes to the way we work so that we can fund the pay offer of up to 9% we have already made.
“While the CWU refuses to accept the need for change, it’s our customers and our people who suffer. Strike action has already cost our people £1,200 each."
The spokesperson said the CWU was “holding Christmas to ransom”, adding: “We are doing everything we can to deliver Christmas for our customers and settle this dispute. During the last strike days, we delivered more than 700,000 parcels, and more than 11,000 delivery and processing staff returned to work. We recovered our service quickly, but the task becomes more challenging as Christmas nears. We remain willing to talk at any time about our best and final offer and urge the CWU to call off their damaging strike action.”