A national postal strike will go ahead next week as the Royal Mail has rejected the Communication Workers Union (CWU) offer to avoid action.

The CWU gave the Royal Mail till today to reach an agreement but says that as the Royal Mail has rejected its proposals it has no choice but to serve notice for strike action.

42,000 mail centre staff and network drivers will strike from Thursday (October 22) and delivery and collection staff, 78,000 workers, will strike from Friday (October 23).

CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: “We made a genuine offer to Royal Mail that would have given space for detailed discussions without a strike. We were severely disappointed that within two or three hours the company rejected it, apparently without even affording it proper consideration. This comes on the back of several rejections of CWU offers and is a clear indication that they are not trying to reach agreement.”

Ward said that there was still a chance for the Royal Mail to reconsider and has called for the government to intervene in the dispute.