A two-day national postal strike is under way after last-ditch talks between the Royal Mail and union bosses broke down without agreement.
Mail deliveries across Britain are being disrupted as up to 120,000 members of the CWU walk out over pay, conditions and modernisation.
Thousands of staff members joined picket lines up and down the country as mail centre staff and drivers downed tools.
Up to 42,000 union members are set to stay away from work, with another 78,000 delivery and collection staff due to walk out on Friday.
Its widely predicted that the unions will announce further three day strikes from next Thursday
Gordon Brown has urged postal workers and management to “sit round a table” and try to reach agreement.
The Prime Minister described the strike as “self-defeating” and “counter-productive”.
Yourthurrock went to the picket line at the Royal Mail Distribution Centre at West Thurrock and spoke to John and Bob.
These are proud men. They will tell you that this really is last resort action for them. They heavily criticise claims that they have failed to modernise. For example 220 driving jobs reduced to 70. Weekend and night work for no extra pay.
This is surely a dispute where no one side will emerge as a winner. The staff know they are putting their very existence in danger and management are playing with fire as a host of competitors are sitting like dribbling dogs to snap up this multi million pound business