In recent months, industrial action has been launched by unions in several sectors over wages and conditions. Railway workers, trash collectors, lawyers and more went on strike, with many citing insufficient pay rises given the rising cost of living as the cause.
Members of the Communications Workers’ Union (representing many Royal Mail workers) are set to stage a series of 19 new strikes in the run-up to Christmas, meaning the postal services will be affected on strike dates.
The move was announced in response to the Royal Mail’s “threat to go ahead with vicious cuts to workers’ working conditions and completely sideline the union”.
Unless an agreement is reached, the national action will have a “dramatic” impact on peak mail periods such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the run-up to Christmas.
Royal Mail said it was doing everything in its power to minimize disruption on strike dates, but despite having ‘well-developed contingency plans’ it will not be possible for them to ‘fully replace the daily efforts of its frontline workforce”.
They also promise to increase capacity in the days following strikes to help cope with disruptions.
While most branches will remain open on strike days, some Post Office services may also be affected.
So what are the strike dates and what could be disrupted?
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming strikes.
What are the CWU strike dates?
The next strike is due to take place on Thursday, November 24.
There will then be more strikes the next day – November 25 – which coincides with Black Friday.
The full list of Royal Mail strike dates is shown below.
Royal Mail strike dates in November and December
Thursday, November 24
Friday November 25
Wednesday, November 30
Thursday, December 1
Friday, December 2 (deliverymen only)
Will post offices be open during the strike?
Which postal services will be affected by the strike?
La Poste has warned that sending letters and parcels, Drop & Go, travel money, banking (cheque deposits) and certain identity services (for example, checking and sending passports on paper) could be affected by a strike. Full information is available on the post office website and the latest Royal Mail news.
Royal Mail and ParcelForce Worldwide collections will experience delays and some postal agencies may not be able to accept mail on industrial action days if they reach their acceptance capacity.
If you order travel money online the day before or on the day of the strike, it will not be available for in-branch pickup or home delivery the next business day, and the stock of foreign currency may be low.
They advise customers to order travel money two or three days in advance or four or five days for Travel Money cards.
Although check deposits may occur as usual, there may be a delay before it reaches your account.
Although Passport Check & Send services may be subject to delays in reaching their destination, this should not affect the date you receive your passport.
However, the issuance of biometric residence permits to postal agencies may be subject to delays.
That the other royal mail services will be affected by the strike?
Several Royal Mail services will be interrupted during strikes, and any items published before, during or in the days following the strike may be delayed. They will also not be able to deliver letters on strike dates, except for special delivery mail.
Royal Mail has promised to deliver as many Special Delivery or Tracked24 parcels as possible. However, they cannot guarantee delivery of all items by 9am or 1pm the next day and suspend the guarantee the next day. Customers will not be eligible for compensation for delays caused by strikes.
Where possible, Royal Mail will also prioritize the delivery of medical prescriptions.
Although Royal Mail says customers can continue to post items from letterboxes or post offices, collections will be less frequent on days when a strike is planned. As such, they urge anyone looking to use post items to do so as soon as possible before the strike dates.
The Royal Mail also says delivery offices and customer service points will be closed on days when a CWU strike occurs.
MORE: When are the strikes in London? Train, bus and post dates
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