Breakthrough in post dispute

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The threat to Christmas mail receded yesterday when leaders of 130,000 postal workers finally agreed a peace deal to end their long-running dispute over working practices.

Alan Johnson, joint general secretary of the Communication Workers' Union said he was confident his members would accept the peace formula in a ballot over the next few weeks.

As part of the proposed settlement, management has dropped its insistence on the introduction of "team-working" - the main bone of contention. Barrie Clement