TUC raises hopes of end to post strike as parties agree to talks

There were hopes last night of a breakthrough in the postal dispute after the two sides agreed to hold talks.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) said yesterday it had invited the Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) to the table tomorrow and that both had accepted. The union umbrella body was hopeful of an end to the wrangling that led to two one-day strikes last week.

"I have had a number of conversations with [the TUC's General Secretary] Brendan Barber over the last few days and I'm very pleased we seem to have found a sensible and positive way forward," the Royal Mail chief executive, Adam Crozier, said yesterday, as workers began clearing the backlog of 30 million letters and parcels.

The CWU had planned another series of strikes to start this Thursday, and the dispute was expected to escalate further after it emerged that the trade union Unite has written to 10,000 Royal Mail managers saying it supported the strike action.

The letter said: "It is our wish to give CWU all possible support, within the law, to help ensure a satisfactory settlement. We would ask you to ensure that you undertake no work beyond your normal duties that would assist management in its efforts to undermine legitimate industrial action."

The GMB union also waded into the dispute, describing plans by the Royal Mail to hire 30,000 casual workers to break the strike as "illegal" and setting up a hotline for members of the public to report agencies that were supplying staff. The Royal Mail has strongly denied that its move to hire 30,000 agency workers was illegal.

This week's coming strikes are due to involve 43,700 staff across the UK in mail centres, delivery units, drivers and garage staff on Thursday; 400 workers in Plymouth, Stockport and Stoke who deal with poorly addressed mail on Friday; and 77,000 delivery and collection workers on Saturday.

Mr Crozier will give his first interview since the strikes started when he appears on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show this morning.

The TUC added in a statement yesterday: "Royal Mail and the CWU have in recent days been in contact with the TUC over the current dispute. As a result, both Royal Mail and the CWU have accepted an invitation from TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber to talks on Monday."

A CWU spokesman said: "The CWU has been calling for talks and is pleased that Royal Mail has now agreed to return to negotiations."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operations & Logistics Manager

£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...

Recruitment Genius: GeoDatabase Specialist - Hazard Modelling

£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...

Recruitment Genius: Compressed Air Pipework Installation Engineer

£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Coordinator - Pallet Network

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project