Bristol postal worker strikes 'inevitable'

Postal worker strikes in south Bristol are "inevitable" in the run-up to Christmas, a union has said.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said talks with Royal Mail had broken down without agreement.

Last week about 80% of workers at a depot in Mead Street voted to stage walkouts over workload issues.

Royal Mail said it was committed to a national framework for resolving the issues and the union had been invited back for further talks on Friday.

'Talks went backwards'

Delays in getting post from the Bedminster office to the BS4 (Knowle) and BS14 (Hengrove) areas began at the start of November.

Thousands of items of mail were left undelivered, which Royal Mail said was due to staff sickness, but the CWU said delivery rounds were too large for workers.

About 100 people work in the office.

David Wilshire, the CWU Bristol area official, said: "Talks went backwards today and it is obvious that management do not appreciate the concerns of our members or the seriousness of the situation."

He added that Royal Mail would receive notice next week of the first in a series of strikes in the run-up to Christmas.

In response, Royal Mail said it had been working on contingency plans should strike action be held.

A spokesperson said: "We have invited the union to meet with us again tomorrow to continue working with us to explore every opportunity to resolve concerns of our staff at Mead Street.

"We remain committed to the nationally agreed framework for resolving these issues.

"However, in response to the threat of industrial action, we have been developing contingency plans to make sure deliveries of festive mail continue if there is industrial action in the run-up to Christmas."

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