Putney & the rest of London faces a summer of postal strikes with the risk of up to five ballots for industrial action by Royal Mail workers in the pipeline.

Bosses and consumers are concerned that any one of these could trigger a London-wide walkout on the scale of last week's wildcat strike, which crippled the postal system.

Workers in Putney have voted to take action over the suspension of a union official for allegedly harassing a female staff member - even though Royal Mail says the official has been reinstated. The reputation within SW15 of the delivery service is already pretty poor and further strikes will not help their case with the residents.

The Post Office says that "militant minority of union activists" are leading the 20,000-strong workforce into an unnecessary confrontation over vital changes to improve the capital's mail services.

A Royal Mail source said today: "We hope it can be avoided but we fear it may be a long, hot and unpleasant summer for our customers."

The Communication Workers Union says the changes will affect efficiency and force staff to relocate to offices further from home.

In addition to the SW15 local case the delivery staff London wide are being asked to vote on industrial action over the Fit to Deliver scheme which the CWU claims will lead to earlier starts and a cut in second deliveries. Royal Mail says it will provide a shorter working week, higher basic and more pensionable pay.