Royal Mail workers have launched another 48-hour strike and warned bosses they are "risking a Christmas meltdown".

Postal workers joined the picket line outside the Royal Mail office on Watford Business Park on Wednesday (November 30).

The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents the workers, says it wants a pay rise that matches the soaring cost of living.

More strikes are also planned in the run-up to Christmas on December 9, 11, 14, 15, 23 and 24.

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The dispute began this summer after Royal Mail rejected union demands for a pay rise that matched inflation – the rate at which prices rises – which is currently 11.1%.

The union also objects to proposed changes to working conditions, such as ending a number of allowances and the introduction of compulsory Sunday working.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “Royal Mail bosses are risking a Christmas meltdown because of their stubborn refusal to treat their employees with respect.”

CW London divisional representative Mark Dolan added: “The action we are taking today is about saving this Great British institution, 500 years’ service that we give to the public, and also the destruction of our terms and conditions.”

Read more: Royal Mail post boxes sealed with hazard tape for 'two weeks'

Watford Observer: Communication Workers Union general secretary Dave WardCommunication Workers Union general secretary Dave Ward (Image: PA)

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “The CWU is striking at our busiest time, holding Christmas to ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country.

“We apologise to our customers and strongly urge them to post early for Christmas.

“We are proud to have the best pay and conditions in our industry. In an industry dominated by the ‘gig economy’, insecure work and low pay, our model sets us apart and we want to preserve it.

“Despite losing more than £1 million a day, we have made a best and final pay offer worth up to 9%. Strike action has already cost our people £1,000 each and is putting more jobs at risk.

“The money allocated to the pay deal should be going to our people, but it risks being eaten away by the costs of further strike action.

“We once again urge the CWU to call off strike action. We remain available to meet to discuss our best and final offer.”

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