Christmas strike action by postal workers has edged a step closer after talks aimed at resolving a pay dispute collapsed.
Members of the Communications Workers Union working for the Royal Mail are due to walk out over four dates in the next fortnight.
Discussions were held between Royal Mail bosses and union leaders in an attempt to avert action.
However, the planned strikes will go ahead on November 24, 25, and 30, as well as on December 1.
The CWU indicated that progress was made during recent negotiations, but stated that management at the Royal Mail had failed to put any commitments into writing.
STV News has contacted the Royal Mail for a response to the claims made by the union.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said that “dramatic errors of judgement” had been made by senior leaders at the postal group.
Ward also suggested that they had refused an offer by the CWU to escalate negotiations.
“The truth is that the current senior leadership of Royal Mail have been treating employees, union representatives or future investors with a lack of integrity and transparency,” he said.
“Dramatic errors of judgement have been made, like announcing 10,000 jobs losses to threaten striking workers, abandoning previous agreements and handing over £567m to shareholders while neglecting the pay of employees who generated that profit.
“Many things remain unexplained, like giving up Royal Mail’s household name in favour of ‘International Distributions Services’, refusing the union’s offer to escalate negotiations and ignoring the unrivalled network of Royal Mail Group to create new financial opportunities.”
Ward noted the impact of strike action on millions of households and businesses during the Christmas period.
But, he suggested that bosses at the Royal Mail “couldn’t care less” about resolving the dispute.
“We firmly believe these reckless decisions have been informed by power struggles in the boardroom in the full knowledge of a potential future takeover bid,” he continued.
“Postal workers need a deal that works for them, the communities they love and the industry they loyally serve, not one that covers up for CEO and boardroom failures.”
He added: “The CWU, or this country, will never accept Royal Mail becoming another Uber-style gig economy courier.
“32 million households and countless small businesses are relying on this dispute to be over for the Christmas period.
“The pattern of behaviour displayed by Royal Mail top brass suggests they couldn’t care less about resolving any of this.”