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Hundreds of Post Office (Royal Mail) workers, taken on as agency temporary employees to cover the Christmas period have been protesting around the country over unpaid wages, TV broadcaster Channel 4 reports.
Local newspapers across the UK have highlighted the anger and frustration of temporary workers who feel they would have been better off on unemployment benefit. One man, Royston Allcock, told the Birmingham Evening Mail newspaper "I have a wife and four children and I was relying on the money to buy presents, do some Christmas shopping. People have done the work and need the money."
Most temporary Post Office staff are employed through in-house staffing agency, Angard Staffing Solutions, owned by the Post Office and part-managed by Reed Specialist Solutions, although other agencies also supply Christmas staff.
Some workers claim the management change is the main problem. One man told the Lancashire Evening Post that things had been fine until the agency took over.
Dave Ward, General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union said "we expressed serious concerns about this agency right back in September, but Royal Mail assured us they had full confidence in them. It seems this confidence may have been misplaced."
Royal Mail spokesman Nick Martens said "we have taken action in every single case that we are aware of to ensure a payment is being made. We are doing this by issuing a voucher, which can be cashed at any Post Office branch. Our Christmas workers are very important to us."