British Postal Strike Called Off

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British postal workers have called off a national strike planned for May 8 after reaching a tentative pay deal with Consignia and a breakthrough on talks to change delivery procedures.

Members of the Communication Workers Union will receive an increase of 2.2 percent increase backdated to October 2001, and a 2.3 percent increase beginning Oct. 15, plus other benefits. Members will vote on the two-year deal in the coming weeks.

Delivery changes at issue include providing one mail delivery daily instead of two and increasing the size of postal workers' rounds. A spokesman for Consignia, the re-branded post office, said pilot programs testing one delivery per day will still be launched as soon as possible.

Consignia said the strike would have been "financial suicide." Struggling to cope with the opening of its markets to competition, Consignia has already announced it will axe 15,000 jobs and close 3,000 post offices.

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