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30,000 Temps For Royal Mail

30,000 Temps For Royal Mail

Royal Mail will recruit up to 30,000 temporary staff to deal with upcoming strikes by postal workers and the Christmas rush, the service has said.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has called national strikes on Thursday and Friday over pay and reforms.

Royal Mail said it would hire twice the usual number of extra pre-Christmas staff to cut the impact of "unjustified and irresponsible" industrial action.
But the CWU described the decision as "a stupid move".

"I think it's something that's not going to help resolve the dispute - it's going to inflame things," CWU general secretary Billy Hayes told the BBC.
But speaking on the Andrew Marr programme, he stopped short of describing the temporary workers as strike-breakers. Employing extra people to do the work of staff who are on strike is illegal under employment law.

Royal Mail said the recruitment drive was not about bringing in workers to do the work of striking staff, but to ensure there were enough staff to clear any backlogs as well as tackle the seasonal increase in mail volume.

Two 24-hour nationwide strikes have been called so far, on 22 and 23 October. On the first day, mail centre staff and drivers will strike. The next day it will be delivery and collection staff.

Meanwhile, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said he would have no problem with going to the conciliation service Acas to solve the dispute. He said he was beyond anger at this strike - just sad at the tragedy for Royal Mail.

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