Mail managers to sort post

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The Independent Online

Royal Mail's Managing Director Mark Higson has written to managerial staff telling them they will need to dedicate two days of each working week to "operational" duties, in a move that staff have interpreted as being an attempt to break the postal strike.

ITV News last night revealed a letter from the Communication Managers Association, who represent Royal Mail managers, which states that managers are worried they may be used for strike-breaking in a way that is against the law and they are demanding more discussion.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: "Anyone who is not able to work directly in the operation for whatever reason is not required to do so."

Meanwhile, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has been accused of "undermining" last-ditch talks aimed at averting a postal workers strike by "misrepresenting" facts of the dispute.

The Communication Workers Union said his statement given to the Lords would damage 11th-hour negotiations with the Royal Mail. Lord Mandelson said the need for modernisation of the postal service was clear as a result of alternative technologies such as email, text messaging and direct debits taking away some of the Royal Mail's business.