Nearly two dozen postal workers and Communication Workers Union (CWU) representatives gathered in Camden for a seventh day of strike action over pay and conditions.

Workers met at Mornington Crescent on Thursday morning, saying they were worried but determined in the face of the cuts announced last week.

As rain fell, two thirds of the Mornington Crescent Delivery office turned out, joined by colleagues from Kentish Town and Hampstead.

No one crossed the picket line, apart from managers, with strike action given a 100% backing by local union members.

A further walk-out is set to go ahead next Tuesday (October 25).

A rolling strike has been called for a fortnight from the November 2-16 and from November 23 to December 2, impacting Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, and the run-up to Christmas.

Last week Royal Mail announced it would consult on up to 6,000 redundancies - something delivery driver Troy Ryan, 39, described as "scaremongering".

Confirming that no one was getting strike pay, he admitted that striking was costly.

“It's coming up to the busiest end, Christmas and we need full pockets, not empty pockets.”

But he added: “We’ll go until we get a deal that we deserve.”

Pat Carey, the Kentish Town office representative, in green high-vis, said: “It’s just like this everywhere. No one's crossing the bigger lines, everyone’s fully supportive of the union.”

He agreed the threat of redundancies is "scaremongering tactics".

"They didn't have to come out with them half year profits," he said. "They weren't supposed to be out until November the 17. It was only one reason why they did that, it was to try and break our strikes.”

Asked by the Ham&High whether the strikes would continue until November and whether members could afford to carry on, he added: “Look, we’d put off the strikes tomorrow if we got a deal. Our negotiating team, we want a deal, we don't want do this. People are losing the money.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson had not comment for the Ham & High as to the timing of their announcement, saying only that: “On Friday, October 14, we announced losses of £219 million in the first half of the year. This once again demonstrates the urgent need for Royal Mail to change. Further strike action would materially increase our losses for the full year.”

Saying that such a move may mean further job losses and apologising for the disruption to customers, the spokesperson added: “Four weeks have passed since we invited the CWU to enter talks with Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) to resolve the change and pay dispute. We once again urge the CWU to join us in Acas talks. This is the only way to reach a resolution and secure Royal Mail's future and jobs for our people.”

Ham & High:

Last week’s Royal Mail announcement follows a post-Covid slowdown for the company, compounded by the industrial action taken since August.

Talks broke down in April after Royal Mail offered workers a below inflation pay rise of 2%, with a further 3.5% dependent on further agreement over changes to working conditions, as Britain’s 506 year old postal service struggles to remain viable.

The CWU fears it will turn the legacy public service into a “a gig economy style parcel courier”.

Mark Dolan, the Mornington Crescent Area Delivery representative, said strikers want to defend the six-day service the Royal Mail provides under its “universal service obligation"

He said they reject Royal Mail’s view that letters could be serviced over three or four day a week.

“This is what this about," he said. "This is about [Royal Mail] moving this industry to a predominantly parcels delivery.”

Royal Mail has said it sees the changes as vital to its survival, suffering a marked decline in letter volumes and been heavy-footed in its turn to parcel driven growth, having inherited legacy industrial relations when it was privatised in 2013.