Royal Mail plans anti-strike strategy

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The Royal Mail is prepared to take on strike-breakers to beat a threatened national stoppage by 155,000 postal workers, it emerged yesterday.

As talks continue today in an attempt to avoid a national dispute over job security, a Post Office spokesman made it clear that management would consider employing alternative workers to ensure the mail gets through. The first indication that the company may recruit casual workers to process post during industrial action came in an advertisement in a local newspaper in north-west Kent.

Union and management representatives are expected to make further efforts today to address concerns over the future of the service. A Royal Mail spokesman said management was prepared to concede a shorter working week and higher pay in return for greater flexibility and an end to restrictive practices.