Royal Mail issue Christmas post deadline amid ongoing strike action

An ongoing industrial dispute has led to widespread disruption, with Royal Mail urging customers to send post as soon as possible.

Royal Mail customers warned of deadline for posting cards and gifts in time for Christmas  iStock

There are warnings of a “Christmas meltdown” as people across the UK race to ensure their cards and gifts arrive ahead of December 25.

Royal Mail customers have been urged to send their post as early as possible this year amid strike action.

Members of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) are staging walk-outs throughout the month in a dispute over pay.

The union has accused Royal Mail bosses of failing to treat its employees with respect.

However, the organisation has hit back at the union, accusing it of “holding Christmas to ransom” for families and businesses.

Final posting dates for Christmas cards were brought forward by the Royal Mail due to the dispute.

The new last posting dates for arrival for Christmas Day are:

  • 1st Class, 1st Class Signed For – December 16
  • Special Delivery Guaranteed – December 21

Strike action is being taken on December 23 and December 24.

Royal Mail has stated that it is deploying a range of contingency plans.

Those looking to have their parcels arrive in time for Christmas are being urged to send them as soon as they are ready.

Laura Joseph, Post Office customer experience director, explained many branches are open seven days a week to allow customers to visit.

“Royal Mail has brought forward the last recommended posting dates for many of its services,” she said.

“As a result, Friday December 16 is now likely to be even busier in Post Office branches as customers race to ensure cards and gifts arrive for Christmas Day.

“As soon as you’ve got your parcels ready to go, get them in the post.

“Many Post Office branches are open long hours and some are open seven days a week, so pop into your local branch and get your gifts sent in time for Christmas.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson criticised the CWU over the strike plans.

“The CWU is striking at our busiest time, deliberately holding Christmas to ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country,” they said.

“We are doing everything we can to deliver Christmas for our customers and would like to thank the increasing number of posties returning to work each strike day, temporary workers and managers from across the business who are helping to keep the mail moving.

“However, this task becomes more challenge as Christmas nears.

“Three weeks ago, we made a best and final pay offer worth up to 9% over 18 months.

“Instead of working with us to agree on changes required to fund that offer and get pay into our posties’ pockets, the CWU has announced plans to ballot in the New Year for further strike action.

“Their misguided belief that further industrial action, in a business already losing more than £1m a day, will result in an improve pay offer is misleading members and risking their long-term job security.”

CWU general secretary Dave Ward insisted that workers would not accept the “casualisation” of the jobs they have.

“Royal Mail bosses are risking a Christmas meltdown because of their stubborn refusal to treat their employees with respect,” he said.

“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.

“This can be resolved if Royal Mail begin treating their workers with respect and meet with the union to resolve this dispute.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code