22 February 2006

Postal workers in new strike threat

Belfast Telegraph

By Deborah McAleese
22 February 2006

Postal workers today threatened to go out on official strike - potentially shutting down postal services across Northern Ireland.

Union officials confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that postal staff are planning to ballot for an official strike amid claims that Royal Mail has gone back on a deal struck with workers last week.

A report on the current situation is being forwarded to Communication Workers Union headquarters in London for authorisation to ballot for an official strike.

There are fears that if the CWU does not give the authorisation workers may stage another wildcat strike.

And it was warned that the action could completely cripple mail services across the province.

"This is the last thing postal staff want but they are incensed by their treatment and it looks like this is their only option," a CWU spokesman said.

"I am confident that authorisation will be given for an official strike as the way strikers who returned to work at the weekend are being treated by managers is disgraceful. They are being very badly victimised."

The spokesman added: "It has the potential of closing Northern Ireland down."

Royal Mail today said it was unaware that workers were talking about staging a ballot.

A spokeswoman said: "Royal Mail is asking people from across its operations to assist in getting the service back to normal."

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