An Post customers advised not to post letters or parcels until further notice
* Strike begins at An Post
* Postal services affected nationwide
* Strike in row over pay and rostering
An Post are advising customers not to post any letters or parcels until further notice.
Postal services have been brought to a halt around the country as key workers at An Post mail centres began a strike action at midnight last night.
An Post said they 'regret to inform customers' not to use the postal service until further notice, but emphasised the Post Office retail services are not affected.
Also, as a result of this industrial action, there will be no mail collections from businesses today, Friday, An Post said in a statement today.
They also reported that a small number of letters were not processed last night.
The workers, who maintain the An Post Automation Mail Sorting Centres, went on strike in a row over pay and rostering.
It comes after a 14-day notice to the strike action, which had been issued by the Communications Workers Union (CWU) to IO Systems management, lapsed at midnight.
The dispute is over new rostering for the workers who maintain the mail sorting equipment at An Post's four Automation Mail Sorting Centres in Dublin, Cork, Portlaoise and Athlone.
The rosters would see workers placed onto non-rotating night work for the rest of their working lives, as well as proposed 22pc wage cuts - with the workers having already suffered reductions to their pay.
The strike is expected to affect mail delivery services the longer the dispute continues.
Steve Fitzpatrick, CWU General Secretary, maintains the dispute is because IO Systems management is "having the workers who maintain vital mail sorting equipment pay for the contract they have with An Post through cuts to their wages.
"IO Systems have undertaken this action in complete disregard for the long-term consequences and impacts this will have on mail delivery services nationwide," Mr Fitzpatrick said.
"In the face of provocation from IO Systems and throughout this action, CWU members will continue to do everything in their power not to impact An Post services. However, it is inevitable that services will be affected the longer the dispute continues. This industrial action will continue until the rostering and wage issues which IO Systems wants to ignore are fully addressed," Mr Fitzpatrick added.
An Post urged parties to the dispute to use the "State's dispute resolution Institutions (LRC & Labour Court) to resolve their differences in a peaceful manner."
A statement from An Post said today: "An Post greatly regrets this inconvenience to our customers and urges the parties involved to resolve their differences through the normal industrial relations procedures."
The Department of Social Protection said it has made alternative arrangements to deliver payment cheques to claimants, should the industrial dispute run into next week.