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Amazon eyes wander as Royal Mail strike looms

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Online retail giant Amazon is mulling "contingency measures" to deal with a looming national strike at the Royal Mail, but it has insisted that no "long-term contracts" had been cancelled with the UK’s largest postal carrier.

The Guardian reported yesterday that Amazon had ended its contract with the Royal Mail to deliver parcels weighing more than 500 grams.

In a carefully worded statement Amazon told The Register: "We have not cancelled any long-term contracts with Royal Mail. They continue to be one of a number of carriers that we use. However, with the possibility of strike action in the near future, we have been working on contingency measures with our other carriers to ensure that we can continue to deliver to the high standards that our customers expect from us."

Later today it’s largely expected that the Communication Workers Union, which represents 121,000 posties, will vote in favour of strike action. If the proposal gets the go-ahead from the state-owned firm’s workers, it will be the second national strike at the Royal Mail in two years.

Unsurprisingly, the Royal Mail is disappointed in the union’s stance and said it should "abandon its unjustified strikes and help the business deliver the service our customers deserve."

There has been unease among Royal Mail staff unhappy with pay levels and changes to work practices throughout the year, which has so far led to several local walkouts and a big backlog of post.

We also asked Amazon if it could tell us which other carriers it was working with as part of its contingency plan and give us a ballpark percentage on how many deliveries in the UK it would shift away from the Royal Mail in the event of a national postal strike.

At time of writing, it hadn’t responded with comment. ®

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