Around 100 postal workers in south Bristol walked out on strike today over increased workloads.
Workers at Royal Mail's depot in Mead Street, Bedminster, said they were taking 24-hour strike action because delivery rounds had been revised, forcing too much work on staff, and that some members had been bullied by managers.
Over 40,000 households and businesses in the Knowle and Hengrove postcode areas did not receive post today as a result of the action.
It came during one of the busiest weeks of the year for Royal Mail as seasonal cards, letters and parcels begin to peak.
Royal Mail said it is bringing in managers from across the country to prevent a backlog building up over Christmas - in other words to scab on the strikers.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which the workers belong to, said management had failed to "grasp the extent of the problem they have caused and continue to bury their heads in the sand."
Delays in getting post from the Bedminster sorting office began at the start of November.
Thousands of items of mail were left undelivered, which Royal Mail said was due to staff sickness, but the CWU said it was because delivery rounds were too large for workers.
Royal Mail said: "We agree with the union, the need to re-plan the duties within the office to ensure a sustainable operation which provides a reliable service for customers."
But it went on to blame the union: "We asked the union to meet with us at (the conciliation service) Acas rather than take industrial action and we regret that this offer was refused.
"Royal Mail is determined to do everything it can to maintain service to customers. We have developed contingency plans designed to keep up deliveries of our customers' festive mail," it added.
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