Disruption to Royal Mail parcel and letter deliveries now looks inevitable after the Unite union said strike action among managers will start later this month.

The trade union said 2,400 frontline delivery managers will work to rule on 15-19 July, followed by a series of strikes between 20-22 July, in an ongoing row about job cuts.

It said the postal company was on a “ruinous” path and its proposed job cuts were so savage, they threatened to destroy the service.

Royal Mail has already accused the union of using misleading figures and claims that 420 staff had already been fired were untrue.

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It said 700 roles were reduced through an oversubscribed voluntary redundancy and redeployment programme and it had committed to protecting pay for its remaining managers.

However, Mike Eatwell, Unite national officer, said: “Our members have been forced to the position of taking industrial action because those running Royal Mail refuse to see sense.

“We have taken another detailed look at Royal Mail’s proposals, and it is worse than we first thought.

“The business is seeking to cut 700 posts on top of the 1200 cut last year.”