SIGNIFICANT SHORTS : Commuters face second tube strike

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Tube travellers face a second 24-hour strike next Wednesday after drivers' leaders rejected a call to go to arbitration.

The executive of Aslef renewed its threat to continue industrial action in pursuit of a claim for a shorter working week after turning down an invitation by management to take the dispute to the industry's wages board. Further stoppages are planned for 8 and 16 July.

Lew Adams, general secretary of the union, said: "The issue is very clear. London Underground promised a shorter working week last year and has now reneged on the deal. There is no need to arbitrate on that."

At the Royal Mail, postal workers began clearing a backlog of millions of letters built up during a day-long national stoppage which ended at noon yesterday. Leaders of the Communications Workers' Union are due to resume pay and productivity negotiations on Monday. Barrie Clement