Striking mail workers will cause holdup of deliveries with one-day walkouts during festive season

‘Posties are holding Christmas to ransom’: Striking mail workers will cause holdup of gifts and cards with series of one-day walkouts during festive season, bosses say

  • Communication Workers Union is planning walkouts including on Christmas Eve
  • Royal Mail has warned the public they should post cards and gifts early 
  • The CWU is demanding pay rises and assurances on job security for workers

Christmas is being ‘held to ransom’ by striking postal workers, Royal Mail said last night.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is planning to hold a series of one-day strikes through the festive season, including on Christmas Eve, meaning the arrival of Christmas presents and cards could be delayed.

Royal Mail has told the public to post cards and presents early, adding: ‘The CWU is striking at our busiest time, holding Christmas to ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country.

‘We are proud to have the best pay and conditions in our industry. In an industry dominated by the “gig economy”, insecure work and low pay, our model sets us apart and we want to preserve it. 

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is planning to hold a series of one-day strikes through the festive season, including on Christmas Eve

Royal Mail has said: 'The CWU is striking at our busiest time, holding Christmas to ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country'

Royal Mail has said: ‘The CWU is striking at our busiest time, holding Christmas to ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country’

‘Despite losing more than £1 million a day, we have made a best and final pay offer worth up to 9 per cent.’

The union said its members will be in London on December 9 for the ‘biggest strike demonstration this country has ever seen’ as workers demand pay rises and assurances on job security.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: ‘Royal Mail bosses are risking a Christmas meltdown because of their stubborn refusal to treat their employees with respect.

‘Postal workers want to get on with serving the communities they belong to, delivering Christmas gifts and tackling the backlog from recent weeks.

‘But they know their value and they will not meekly accept the casualisation of their jobs, the destruction of their conditions and the impoverishment of their families.’

Retail and courier industry expert David Jinks, of ParcelHero, said many retailers were adopting an earlier last-order date for guaranteed Christmas delivery because of delays.

He said: ‘Strikes threaten to disrupt deliveries. This has led to some dramatic changes in retailers’ final-order dates to ensure gifts don’t miss the big day. Many of our favourite stores have woken up and smelt the eggnog and are rapidly dragging back their final-order dates for Christmas.’

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said Royal Mail bosses refuse 'to treat their employees with respect'. Pictured: Striking Royal Mail Workers in Camden

 CWU general secretary Dave Ward said Royal Mail bosses refuse ‘to treat their employees with respect’. Pictured: Striking Royal Mail Workers in Camden

It came as union barons sought to pour more misery on Christmas rail travellers by calling strikes among security staff for cross-Channel Eurostar trains.

The militant RMT ordered the walkouts on December 16, 18, 22 and 23 in a dispute over pay.

It will hit passengers travelling to be with loved ones abroad for Christmas or going on festive trips to cities such as Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.

It was unclear last night what the impact on services would be, as the staff, employed by security giant Mitie, check people’s bags with scanners and pat them down if necessary before boarding services.

The union has already thrown the Christmas plans of millions into chaos by calling four 48-hour strikes between December 13 and January 7 for workers on mainline rail services in England. There will also be an overtime ban between December 18 and January 2, which could lead to hundreds of last-minute cancellations. Several operators rely on overtime working to run a full timetable.

The National Education Union said its members who work in 77 sixth-form colleges in England were on strike yesterday in a dispute over pay. It said the teachers had suffered a real-terms pay cut of 20 per cent since 2010.