Strikes at Royal Mail called off

THE latest round of postal strikes, which have plagued Britain for the past month, were last night called off at the eleventh hour.<br /><br />However, the dispute between unions and management over modernisation of the Royal Mail, the main motivation for the industrial action, remains unresolved.<br /><br />The postal service is cutting jobs and pay as it strives to survive in the electronic age. Plans to part-privatise the group were shelved earlier this year when no suitable buyer could be found.<br /><br />The Communication Worker&rsquo;s Union (CWU) and Royal Mail last night said they had entered into an interim agreement, which would give them a &ldquo;period of calm,&rdquo; allowing them to reach a &ldquo;full and final agreement&rdquo;.<br /><br />The CWU also confirmed it was not now pressing ahead with its legal challenge to the Royal Mail over its policy of employing temporary workers to deal with the postal backlog.<br /><br />Dave Ward, deputy general secretary of the CWU, said &ldquo;a lot of hard work remains&rdquo;. The planned walkout today and Monday would have been the third set of nationwide strikes by 121,000 union members. <br /><br />The industrial action has been slammed by politicians and businesses alike, who have warned it risks delaying the UK from emerging from recession.