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24-hour strike by Thetford postal staff

PUBLISHED: 09:40 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 21:36 07 July 2010

Postal workers in Thetford launched a 24-hour strike yesterday a day ahead of planned industrial action in London.

The town's post office depot shut for 24 hours and workers picketed outside for the morning.

Postal workers in Thetford launched a 24-hour strike yesterday a day ahead of planned industrial action in London.

The town's post office depot shut for 24 hours and workers picketed outside for the morning.

But last night Royal Mail said there had been minimum disruption to services as staff volunteers had been brought in to cover deliveries and collections.

A Communication Workers Union spokesman for the Thetford workers said the Royal Mail was “making indiscriminate cuts, replacing core workers with casual workers and agency staff” and that changes had been made going against a national agreement made after strikes in 2007.

He said staff had been replaced by agency workers and the opening hours of the inquiries office there had been cut by one hour about a week ago, half and hour at lunch time and from 5.30pm to 5pm.

A Royal Mail spokesman said the office was open 7am to 2pm, as it had been for some time, and 3pm until 5pm, 30 minutes shorter than before.

He added: "With falling mail volumes, the recession, increasing competition from the internet and e-mail, and with almost 10 million fewer letters a day being handled than in 2006 nationally, it is essential that Royal Mail continues to modernise and improve efficiency in its delivery offices across the UK while maintaining customer service.

“Strike action will not modernise Royal Mail - it will simply disrupt the service to which customers are entitled.”

The national strike action is planned for London tomorrow.

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