Royal Mail workers will stage strikes this month and next in an escalating row over pay, jobs and conditions.
The Communications Workers Union (CWU) formally notified Royal Mail of the November strikes last month and confirmed six new strike dates in December on November 17.
The postal service apologised to customers, saying that though it “well-developed contingency plans” it is unable to “fully replace the daily efforts of our frontline workforce”.
“We’ll be doing what we can to keep services running, but we are sorry this planned strike action is likely to cause you some disruption,” the company said on the website.
Here’s everything you need to know about strikes by Royal Mail staff.
Why are Royal Mail staff striking?
Postal workers are striking over a long-running and worsening dispute about pay and working conditions.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward previously said: “Posties are in the fight of their lives against the Uberisation of Royal Mail and the destruction of their conditions.
“But 115,000 of our members will not just accept this war on their livelihoods and their industry.”
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “On Monday October 31, Royal Mail proposed a new pay-for-change offer to the CWU worth nine per cent over two years, despite making a loss of £219 million in the first half of the year.
“The CWU have been in talks with us at Acas and claim they are open to change but they now need to show it.
“Instead, the CWU have announced four days of strike action which will damage our business further at our busiest time of year.
“The CWU is playing a dangerous game with its members’ jobs and the future of Royal Mail.
“We urge CWU to withdraw these strikes for the good of our customers and our people.
“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s continued strike action will cause.
“We are doing all we can to minimise delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”
When are the strikes?
Thursday 1 December
Friday 9 December
Sunday 11 December
Wednesday 14 December
Thursday 15 December
Friday 23 December
Saturday 24 December
What do strikes mean for deliveries?
On strike days, Royal Mail has said that disruptions are likely and staff will not be delivering letters, with the exception of those sent with Special Delivery, but it cannot guarantee they will arrive.
It will also prioritise the delivery of Covid testing kits and medical prescriptions, where possible.
Will it impact Christmas post?
Royal Mail has not confirmed or denied whether strike action will impact Christmas post but it is likely given there are six fresh strike days in the run-up to December 25.
It has urged customers to send items as early as possible in advance of strike dates in order to avoid disruption.
For deliveries in the UK, the last postal dates for delivery by Christmas are:
Monday 19 December for 2nd class post, 2nd class signed for and Royal Mail 48 services
Wednesday 21 December for 1st class, first class signed for, Royal Mail 24 and Royal Mail tracked 48.