STRIKES by Royal Mail staff will continue into 2023 if working conditions do not improve as Royal Mail is "torn apart" by changes.

That's the opinion of postie and activist Garry Haldane, who says he is "without doubt" that union members will vote in favour of more walk-outs.

The former councillor, who is based at Dunfermline sorting office, says that the support for more industrial action is high among his colleagues, the majority of whom joined him on the picket line during the latest round on Christmas Eve.

He has expressed gratitude for the support members have received from city residents – with some even dropping boxes of chocolate off for those standing in the cold – but emphasised the reasons behind why he believes improved offers are needed.

"This has been going on strike after strike after strike," he told the Press.

"This is the first time we have not come to a settlement before Christmas and not had an agreement.

"In Dunfermline, we are around 40 staff members short – they bring in casual members on even worse conditions but this is what Royal Mail want, more casual staff.

"There is a big support for more action, they are trying to say that more workers are crossing the picket line but they're not, support is not weak."

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is the main trade union representing those working for postal delivery companies and initiated strikes throughout December in attempts to reach a suitable agreement with Royal Mail over pay and conditions.

Mr Haldane continued: "We are losing wages we will never get back and we do understand there is disruption but we are not just doing it for us, we are doing it for the public.

"The whole of Royal Mail will be torn apart, it should be nationalised again, in terms of towns and villages it is a vital community asset.

"The postman is a vital link for the elderly, it's not profitable but it's part of community life – part of British life – it's not just delivering mail, there's a whole service there being taken for granted."

Mr Haldane claims that workers have been told to prioritise parcels, forgoing potentially important letters like hospital appointment notices and solicitor letters for items which make money.

The continuation of this, he says, would result in Royal Mail becoming "just another parcel company", claiming that bosses are urging staff to "take parcels, and only mail if there's time".

He added: "They are breaking up the business, they are talking about taking away the six-day universal service which would mean thousands of jobs lost.

"Redundancy pay is weakened, sick pay is weakened, working hours are going back.

"Strikes aren't solely about pay – we got given the two per cent which wasn't good enough – it's working practices and contracts."

Royal Mail says it is losing more than £1 million each day, with a recent solution of a nine per cent wage rise, rejected by the CWU, being its "best and final" offer.

A spokesperson said: "Every item of mail is important to us. Royal Mail does not operate a policy of prioritising parcels.

"We regularly remind colleagues that the delivery, collection and processing of letters and parcels should be treated with equal importance.

"Due to the amount of space they take up, parcels can restrict the movement of both people and mail in our offices, leading to health and safety issues and delays to other mail.

"At particularly busy times, such as in the recovery days after a strike, we may occasionally at a local level clear parcels to free up space and address health and safety concerns so that we can keep all mail – including letters – moving efficiently through our network.

"We are also proud to provide 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, and already offering a package that pays up to 40 per cent more than our competitors, we have made a best and final pay offer worth up to nine per cent. This has been rejected by the CWU."

They added: "We are very sorry for the disruption and delay that CWU strike action has caused to our customers.

"We continue to deploy contingency plans to keep communities, businesses and the country connected.

"Throughout, we have prioritised essential Government mailings and NHS letters for delivery. After each period of industrial action, we have increased our network capacity and used additional resources to assist with getting services back to normal as quickly as possible.

"Collections from business customers, Post Offices and post boxes resume the day after any strike action has finished, as do deliveries.

The latest information about services during industrial action can be accessed through the Royal Mail strike updates section of the company's website.

No confirmed strikes have been announced for this year, though Mr Haldane says there is an expectation another ballot will take place.