Positive talks in postal row

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THE THREAT of another strike at Wigan’s postal services is receding after some progress during intensive talks between the sides.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is angry about terms and conditions and the sanctity of its pension scheme following the privatisation of the Royal Mail.

But progress made during intense negotiations between the union and Royal Mail in the two weeks since industrial action was called off has now led to a seven-day extension of the validity of the industrial action 
ballot.

Both sides say that this is to allow time to “resolve outstanding issues”.

Wigan branch CWU secretary Paul Fenney said the extra breathing space would allow more time for a hoped-for agreement to be reached over all the issues involved in the dispute.

He said: “The union has agreed that negotiations should continue to try and resolve all the outstanding issues.

“The CWU has agreed to an offer from Royal Mail to grant a seven-day extension to the industrial action ballot which means that the ballot will remain legally valid until the end of the month, but that will be the final one.

“Wigan postal workers know that the union is committed to reaching an agreement but that consideration will be given to serving notice for industrial action if this doesn’t happen.”

A spokesman for Royal Mail said: “Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have made significant progress in current talks on industrial stability, pay and protections.

“On this basis, both parties have agreed to a further extension of the legal validity of the current industrial action ballot until November 27 to allow the time to conclude the discussions.”

Both sides are also negotiating to reach agreement on an agreed approach to “aligning resourcing to workload” along with what the CWU describe as a resolution to the current workload and resourcing issues.