When Are the Postal Strikes Ahead of Christmas?

Postal workers are set to hold a series of strikes, delaying letter and parcel deliveries in the run-up to Christmas. According to the BBC News Service, about 115,000 members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are taking part in the dispute with Royal Mail.

When are the next strikes?
A 48-hour strike will take place on 30 November and 1 December. Another wave of strikes is planned for 9, 11, 14, 15, 23 and 24 December – some of the busiest days for pre-Christmas deliveries.

Postal workers belonging to the CWU voted overwhelmingly in favour of strikes on 19 July, and first took action on 26 August.

How will they affect deliveries?
On strike days the Royal Mail says it will not be able to deliver first and second class letters. However, it will deliver as many parcels and Special Delivery letters as possible.

Where possible, priority will be given to prescriptions and Covid test kits.

The timescale commitment offered on Special Delivery Guaranteed items will be suspended the day before any strike.

People will not be able to claim compensation for late deliveries.

Royal Mail delivery offices and customer service points will be closed. Letters will not be collected from post boxes. Royal Mail has hired thousands of agency workers to help process the backlog.

The Post Office is a separate business, and post offices will be open, although some services, such as posting letters, may be affected. Other services such as bill payments and banking will run as normal.

When are the last posting days before Christmas?
The last posting days to ensure delivery before Christmas are currently 19 December for 2nd class and 21 December for 1st class mail. However, Royal Mail may bring those dates forward if the series of strikes due to begin on 9 December are confirmed.

Why are Royal Mail workers striking?
The action is over pay and conditions. Median pay at Royal Mail is £32,465 a year, and the average pay for a postal delivery worker is £25,777.

Royal Mail has offered a pay deal which it says is worth up to 9% over 18 months. However, this is below the current rate at which prices are rising – 11.1%.

The CWU wants a higher pay offer. It also objects to proposed changes to working conditions, such as ending a number of allowances and the introduction of compulsory Sunday working.

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