New details about Royal Mail’s Christmas strikes have been revealed, with customers warned to ‘allow too much time’ for holiday treats and gifts to arrive.
Britain faces the prospect of a chaotic winter as industrial strikes are set to paralyze railways, disrupt deliveries over Christmas and force students and schoolchildren to miss out on their education.
Royal Mail workers are set to cause new misery to those planning to post gifts and cards in the period up to 25 December.Read:Soft US inflation report could open the door for a rebound
The Postal Service said it offered a pay boost with “wide-ranging improvements” after a period of negotiations with the Communications Workers’ Union, which were quickly rejected by the striking employees.
Simon Thompson, chief executive of Royal Mail, is embroiled in a public war of words with union barons as striking employees promise to ‘fight as long as it takes’.
The industrial strike was arranged by the Communications Workers Union amid a long-running dispute with the company over wages, working conditions and redundancies.
Below, MailOnline shares everything you need to know about the postal strikes that are set to derail the Christmas plans of millions:
Royal Mail workers are set to cause new misery to those planning to post gifts and cards in the period up to 25 DecemberRead:Extreme market events put regulators to the test
Royal Mail postal strike dates in December:
More than 100,000 Royal Mail workers with the Telecommunications Workers’ Union will strike over seven dates in December.
Strikes were promised for the following dates in December:
- Thursday, December 1
- Friday, December 9th
- Sunday 11th December
- Wed 14 Dec
- Thursday, December 15th
- Friday 23 December
- Saturday 24 December
Why are Royal Mail workers striking?
Strikes by British postal workers in the run-up to Christmas began today after Royal Mail’s biggest union rejected a latest payment offer from the company on Wednesday.
Employees fear long-term changes to the service, which include plans to offer a seven-day-a-week parcel service to compete with giants like Amazon and Evry.
Royal Mail has warned that the company is hemorrhaging £1m a day and faces a bleak future unless radical change is made.
Postal workers are giving up jobs, wages and terms after unions rejected Royal Mail’s 11-hour bid to avert the next 48-hour strike.Read:Get ready for 22% inflation, Goldman Sachs warns | Business
The Post and Parcels Business offered a wage increase of up to 9% over 18 months, instead of the previously planned two years, in its “best and last” offer, urging workers to call off strikes.
In addition to the new pay offer, Royal Mail has proposed a new profit-sharing scheme for staff and improvements to the terms of the voluntary redundancy scheme.
When will I need to send mail and gifts by?
An industrial strike is also set to cripple normal Christmas delivery times, with Royal Mail warning customers they should ‘allow plenty of time’ this year.
For cards and gifts that must arrive by Christmas Day, customers are advised to send in second rate items by Monday, December 19th at the latest.
The deadline for First Class and Postal packages is Wednesday, December 21st.
Sending items overseas will take a little more planning, with the Royal Mail advising that mail be sent to family in the armed forces before 3 December.
Strikes by British postal workers in the run-up to Christmas began today after Royal Mail’s biggest union rejected a latest payment offer from the company on Wednesday. Pictured: Staff strike outside a warehouse in London on Thursday 24 November
Will these strikes ruin Christmas?
With the strike scheduled for the days leading up to Christmas, including December 23 and 24, households have been warned they need to plan ahead.
With more than 115,000 workers about to join the picket lines, the strike at Royal Mail promises to be one of the biggest of the year.
Disruption is possible and mail will not be delivered on strike days, except for those sent via Special Delivery.
As such, delayed packages are unlikely to reach their intended recipient before December 25th.
The Postal Service has previously apologized to its customers, warning that it will not be able to “fully replace the daily efforts of our frontline workforce.”
During the last set of national strikes carried out by the CWU in August, the majority of Britain’s mail network was left severely diminished with only essential services and special deliveries running.
There is also the possibility that these strikes will continue beyond 2022.
Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communications Workers’ Union, urged the government to intervene and claimed that “no union will accept the jobs, losses and terms” proposed by Royal Mail.
With the strike scheduled for the days leading up to Christmas, including December 23 and 24, families have been warned they need to plan ahead.
What other blows will happen in December?
Several other unions have been accused of planning coordinated strikes to “maximum impact” on British households this winter.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union confirmed they would be out between December 13th and 14th and then later in the month on December 16th and 17th.
Britain’s transport network is set to be disrupted in the run-up to Christmas as a result, with Network Rail’s RMT members and 14 train companies voting overwhelmingly in favor of the measures last week.
Civil servants at the Home Office, DEFRA, Border Force and Department of Transportation are also set to pull out from mid-December after a long-running row over salaries, jobs and pensions.
The Union of Public and Commercial Services confirmed that the industrial strike will continue for a month after their demands for a 10 percent wage hike were rejected.
The Universities and Colleges Union, which represents 58 higher education providers across the UK, will hold a three-day strike between December 1 and December 3 as part of their dispute over salaries, pensions and contracts.
G4S security staff tasked with delivering cash and coins to banks and supermarkets will also strike in December, sparking concerns about a shortage of Christmas goods.
The GMB union strike is scheduled to take place from 3 am on Monday 5 December.
Workers who make and distribute Greene King products — including IPAs, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale — will be out for five days starting December 5.
The Royal College of Nursing confirmed yesterday that it will embark on a pay strike next month, but dates have yet to be confirmed.