THERE has been a "wave of support" for postal strikes in Dunfermline after a testing festive period.

That's the view of postie and activist Garry Haldane, based at the city's sorting office, who says that changes to working hours are now at the top of a list of concerns.

Workers had planned to walkout on Thursday, February 16, and Friday, February 17, but a legal error and challenge from Royal Mail meant that the action was cancelled.

A ballot sent to Communications Workers Union (CWU) members due back next week will decide if, and when, further strikes will take place.

Garry told the Press: "There has been a big wave of support, if anything strikes over Christmas helped.

"The main thing right now is moving starting times, our offices have been given notification.

"A lot of part-timers come in to the company because they have childcare, late starts would make that impossible.

"For full timers it's if you're delivering later and later, you're working in the dark.

"There's a 12pm cut off for businesses but there's a late arrival team, so they would still get next day delivery.

"I'm not sure what the intention with it is, it's just a drive to make us more like DPD or Amazon."

But Royal Mail denies claims that changes would make its model more similar to those used by Evri or Yodel and explained that the majority of workers would only see a difference of one to two hours in their start time, with an aim to meet customer demand for next day delivery, seven days a week.

This would involve a system of yearly flexi hours used to adjust core hours as workloads vary.

A spokesperson said: "The CWU continue to make false statements designed to mislead and create fear and uncertainty amongst our employees.

"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 £1million a day, and already offering a package that pays up to 40% 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."

Garry says that in Dunfermline there are "lots of vacancies" due to an exodus of workers unhappy with things like pay and conditions.

He is also expecting a "big turn out and a big yes" from workers voting on industrial action.

"They won't fill the vacancies if they're not getting a decent wage," he continued.

"A lot are considering redundancy, but that's been reduced from two years pay to nine months, yet there are managers who were given the two years who are now being brought back because they need managers."

Royal Mail says that on notification of the strike action, which had been planned for next week, the CWU referenced the implementation of revisions as the reason to strike, but that this dispute did not appear on the ballot.

The company has placed these issues and its "best and final offer" to workers into a mutually agreed Dispute Resolution Process (DRP) - which lasts for one month - and has suggested meetings for this week.

"We welcome the fact that the strike action has been called off," the spokesperson added.

"It will be a relief to our customers, and we intend to use this time and space for further discussions to try to agree a deal."

"Royal Mail has made several improvements to our pay deal of up to nine per cent over 18 months.

"This included making the voluntary redundancy terms more generous than the original proposals – Royal Mail offered up to nine months redundancy pay, based on age and length of service, plus an additional enhanced one-off payment of £6,000 for employees who choose voluntary redundancy in the first phase."