Overtime to clear mail backlog

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The Independent Online
Postal workers will be paid overtime today to clear the backlog after the first national mail strike in nearly a decade.

While yesterday's walkout was supported by the overwhelming majority of the 134,000 staff, some deliveries were made in the West Country, southern England, rural Scotland and North Wales. Most of the 1,500 delivery offices and 85 sorting offices, however, were at a standstill.

Talks resume on Monday in an attempt to avert a second 24-hour strike starting at noon next Thursday.

Alan Johnson, joint general secretary of the Communication Workers' Union, said his members had underlined their determination to resist a pay and productivity package. The union is deeply suspicious about the introduction of teamworking.

A spokesman for Royal Mail described the action as senseless. "Management has bent over backwards to try to get a resolution to this dispute, but our patience is not inexhaustible."