Royal Mail staff will strike in the 2 days before Christmas after turning down negotiation offers.
Workers are in an ongoing feud over pay, jobs and conditions and some have already taken industrial action on December 9, 11, 14 and 15.
Now members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will walk out on December 23 and 24, dashing the hopes of last minute Christmas shoppers.
A period of calm
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “An offer extended to the company to suspend the strikes and establish a period of calm from now until 16 January 2023, as well as the union and the company both signing a joint statement incorporating Royal Mail’s latest promise of no compulsory redundancies, was rejected almost immediately.
“For Royal Mail Group to reject our offer just hours after receiving it demonstrates that they were never serious about saving Christmas for customers and businesses.
“When a company openly boasts of having built a £1.7 billion fund to crush its own workers rather than use that money to settle the dispute and restore the service, then you know dark forces are clearly at work.
“Their sole intention is to destroy the jobs of postal workers and remove their union from the workplace.
“Our members will not stand for this, and further action will take place in 2023.
“Our message to the public and businesses is that postal workers do not want to be here, but they are facing an aggressive, reckless and out-of-control chief executive committed to wrecking their livelihoods.”
“Work together to deliver Christmas”
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “Throughout December, we have urged the CWU to call off their strike action and work together to deliver Christmas for our customers.
“The CWU have consistently refused our offer to do so, choosing instead to repackage old pay offers, absent of the change needed to fund the pay deal, in the misleading guise of new proposals to resolve the pay and change dispute.
“Our priority is to deliver for our customers, and this has never been more important as we approach Christmas.
“We would like to thank the increasing number of posties returning to work each strike day. They have been joined by thousands of employees from across the business who have swapped their regular day jobs to work in the operation as we focus all our efforts on delivering Christmas for our customers.”