Jobs deal averts postal strike

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The Independent Online

The threat of strikes by postal workers in London in a dispute over jobs was lifted today when a deal was reached with the Royal Mail.

The Communication Workers Union said that following weeks of intensive talks, guarantees had been given of no compulsory redundancies in the capital despite the planned closure of a number of centres.

Dave Ward, the union's deputy general secretary, said: "Negotiations have been difficult, but the agreement we have breaks new ground on job security for postal workers, which has been our key concern. These employment safeguards are amongst the very best in the UK.

"Royal Mail and the union have committed to a new joint consultation of staff in London to give them real choice over their futures. It means every existing full and part-time employee who wants to remain in Royal Mail employment can now do so.

"There is also more money available for people who transfer, improved job allocation procedures and better commitments on transport issues.

"It will mean two out of the seven mail centres within Greater London closing in the summer of 2012, but crucially this will now be done in a way that puts people first. It's an important approach that will bring necessary operational change which looks after staff and customers as well as the company."

CWU members in London had voted to go on strike over the closures.