Royal Mail workers union calls off planned strikes after legal challenge

One in five letters and parcels sent first class do not arrive the next working day, Royal Mail has admitted.

Planned strikes by Royal Mail workers in the next two weeks have been called off after a challenge by the company.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are involved in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions. A series of strikes has taken place in recent weeks and more had been planned on 2, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 10 November.

The union said that after a letter from Royal Mail’s legal team, it had decided to withdraw industrial action notices for the next two weeks. It added that strikes will resume on Saturday 12 November.

Its general secretary, Dave Ward, said: “We recognise the deep frustration felt by many members over this decision … The current focus of the coming days will be negotiations that can hopefully achieve a sensible deal to end this dispute.”

The CWU’s acting deputy general secretary, Andy Furey, said: “We entirely understand the anger felt by many over the decision but we believe it is a necessary move to protect our dispute.

“Our members have been facing down serious harassment from the highest levels of Royal Mail as they defend their industry and those communities they serve.

“They will not be forced into submission so easily, and we will be reminding the company of their determination at Acas in the coming days.”

Royal Mail said in a statement: “The CWU has withdrawn strike action following Royal Mail writing to CWU to highlight numerous material concerns with the formal notification of planned rolling strike action.

“Royal Mail and CWU have planned talks at Acas on Monday 31 October. We will continue to do all we can to keep business, companies and the country connected.”