Royal Mail workers have launched fresh strikes throughout December in industrial action that will wreak havoc on millions of households who post presents over Christmas.
The Communications Workers Union staged walkouts amid disputes with the company over pay and working conditions.
On what dates are Royal Mail strikes?
The CWU has planned 10 days of strike action, with its 115,000 members staging walkouts on the following dates:
Thursday 24 November Friday November 25 Wednesday November 30 December 1 Thursday Friday December 9 December 11 Sunday
- Wednesday December 14
- Thursday 15 December
- Friday December 23
- Christmas Eve
Will postal strikes affect Christmas deliveries?
Yes. In particular, strikes on December 23 and Christmas Eve will wreak particular havoc for late packages headed to millions of homes.
During the last national strikes in August, the CWU’s large representation of staff crippled almost the entire postal network, with only essential services and special deliveries still running.
What is the last date for sending Christmas cards and parcels by Royal Mail?
Royal Mail is urging customers to “allow plenty of time” to post items this year.
If you want cards and gifts to arrive on Christmas Day, you should Post Class 2 items by December 19However 1st class should be sent by 21st December.
Special deliveries and tracked guaranteed items must be sent by December 22nd. Special deliveries can be sent on December 23 with the company’s “Saturday Guarantee”.
Why are Royal Mail workers taking industrial action?
The dispute between the Postal Service and the CWU, which represents more than 100,000 of Royal Mail’s 140,000 workers, has centered on pay and conditions.
In the face of rising inflation, the CWU argued that the company’s postal workers were entitled to a pay rise commensurate with the rise in prices. UK inflation topped 11 per cent last month, a 41-year high.
They are also angry at the working conditions Royal Mail bosses want, including a seven-day-a-week parcel service, cutting letter deliveries to five days, increased automation in parcel and letter sorting and later finishing times. More next day deliveries.
Royal Mail said the company was losing £1m a day and that the business had no future without radical changes. Officials have threatened layoffs and business disruption if the striking workers are not brought to heel.
What if I am sending an international post?
Royal Mail says mail to family and friends serving in the armed forces should be sent by December 2.
For others who use International Economy Post, you have missed the deadline for sending via standard mail to the Far and Middle East, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Canada and the US. The deadline for Cyprus, Eastern Europe, Greece, Iceland, Malta and Turkey is November 25, while items for Western Europe should be sent by November 28.
Those using international standards or international tracking and signature services are too late to post to the British Virgin Islands, Dominica and Anguilla.
It’s December 1 for Australia and New Zealand, December 2 for mainland China, December 5 for the Caribbean, December 7 for Africa, the Middle East and Asia, December 8 for Cyprus and Malta, and December 10 for Eastern Europe and Turkey.
It is December 10 for Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the US, December 12 for Western Europe and finally, December 14 for Belgium, France and Luxembourg.
Train passengers’ travel plans over Christmas will also be disrupted by planned rail strikes.