Royal Mail strike action could spell chaos for Black Friday

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced four new days of strike action across November and December of this year. It will call on workers who collect, sort and deliver parcels and, Royal Mail has been notified.

Royal Mail’s official website reads: “The CWU has formally notified Royal Mail they plan to call on their members who collect, sort and deliver parcels and letters to take national strike action on Thursday 24, Friday 25, Wednesday, November 30 and Thursday, December 1, 2022.

“Royal Mail has well-developed contingency plans, but we cannot 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 industrial action comes as Royal Mail and CWU agree to engage with ACAS facilitation to try to resolve the current disputes on pay and change.

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Royal Mail told customers that they have proposed a conditional pay-for-change offer to the (CWU) worth nine percent for CWU-grade colleagues which includes a seven percent salary increase over two years, plus a lump sum payment of two percent of pay this year, subject to agreeing a programme of change with the CWU.

Royal Mail continued: “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.”

Nevertheless, the strike action may cause disruption over the coming week, especially as Black Friday draws close.

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For many stores and online retailers, discounts have already been added to many items in light of Black Friday and the subsequent Cyber Monday.

Royal Mail has issued a statement regarding how they will mitigate any issues caused by industrial action in the coming days.

The postal service company said: “On days when national strike action is taking place, we will deliver as many Special Delivery and Tracked 24 parcels as possible.

“We will prioritise the delivery of Covid test kits and medical prescriptions wherever possible.

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“We will not be delivering letters (with the exception of Special Delivery).”

Those using Royal Mail services can post their items as early as possible in advance of the strike dates.

“Continue to post your items at Postboxes or Post Offices, however collections will be less frequent on days when strike action is taking place.”

Post offices will be open on strike action days, although customers should expect delays to items sent on strike days and on the days immediately after strike action. Postboxes will also still be in use, although collections from them will be limited, with delays to be expected.

However, Royal Mail did emphasise that there will be priority items on days of strikes.

The website reads: “We will continue to accept, prioritise and deliver as many Special Delivery items as our resources allow during strike action. However, we cannot guarantee delivery of all items by 9am or 1pm next day. We will therefore suspend the next day guarantee for items sent the day before, during strike action and until our services are back to normal. Customers will not be able to claim compensation for items which are delayed during this period.

“Tracked 24 items will be treated as a priority for delivery on days when strike action is taking place. However, significantly reduced resources mean there will be a delay to some Tracked 24 items posted the day before, on the day of and in the days immediately after strike action.”

Tracked 24 items include Covid test kits and medical prescription items.

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