THOUSANDS of postal workers will launch a fresh 48-hour strike on Thursday in a dispute over pay, which threatens disruption to deliveries.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said 115,000 of its members will walk out in protest against an "imposed" two per cent pay rise.

Picket lines will be mounted outside Royal Mail delivery and sorting offices, following strikes last week, and there is a prospect of further industrial action if the deadlock is not broken.

The union said its members face a "dramatic" reduction in living standards because of the soaring rate of inflation.

Workers are expected to return to Barrow's Abbey Road, where dozens have showed up on two occasions already.

Members of the Communication Workers Union mounted picket lines outside Royal Mail offices across the country on August 31. This is in addition to a strike on August 26. 

A spokesman for the Barrow strike said: "We have called four days of strike action for which we have 97% support on pay terms.

"Bosses have imposed a 2% payrise with attached conditions.

"We understand that they are not skint - large amounts have been paid to senior management and shareholders.

"Senior managers have been receiving lottery wins as bonuses and we just want a fair and dignified offer.

"We are holding a concurrent ballot on a change in our working conditions."

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: "We apologise for the impact the CWU's industrial action is having on our customers. We are doing all we can to minimise any delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.

"Rather than engage on the need for change, the CWU restated their demands to retain the current outdated working practices, which includes working fewer hours for more pay."

But CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: "When Royal Mail bosses are raking in £758 million in profit and shareholders pocketing in excess of £400 million, our members won't accept pleads of poverty from the company."