Talks aimed at resolving a long-running row at Royal Mail over pay, jobs and conditions are continuing to allow more time for a deal, it was announced on Wednesday.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have taken strike action in recent months and are due to walk out again later in November.
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “On November 7 2022, we entered intensive talks with the CWU to reach an agreement on the current pay and change dispute.
“The talks, which had been scheduled to conclude on November 15, are continuing to allow more time for a resolution to be reached.
“But time is tight given the notified strikes starting on November 24.
“If these strikes go ahead, they will cause more damage to the business and make our improved 9% pay offer over two years less affordable.”
In a message to members, CWU said: “Royal Mail Group have embarked on the most serious and sustained set of attacks ever on postal workers.
“This, coupled with the financial mismanagement of the company, has made these discussions the most difficult and complex in our history.
“The CWU is a union that will never face away from modernisation or technology. We have made dozens of agreements on both. Since the recent joint statement we have been engaged in more intensive negotiations with the employer now for over a week.
“Progress has been made in some areas but this is not reflected yet in the commitments the company are prepared to put in writing.
“The CWU remains committed to reaching an agreement and we are prepared to continue negotiations with Royal Mail Group to deliver this ahead of next week’s strike action.
“We must be crystal clear though – unless the company move significantly towards the union on a range of issues, the prospect of achieving an agreement quickly is unlikely.
“The company has now told us that to remain a going concern, they will announce to the markets tomorrow that they must proceed with preference exercises to seek volunteers for redundancy.
“However, as Royal Mail is not yet prepared to commit to no compulsory redundancies in writing and our existing voluntary redundancy processes and terms, we cannot support this activity.”