Postal union threatens strike over Christmas Day hours

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The Independent Online

Royal Mail is facing potential strike action over the issue of Christmas working hours.

Royal Mail is facing potential strike action over the issue of Christmas working hours.

Management and the Communication Workers Union met last week to discuss deliveries, but both sides remain at loggerheads over Christmas Day.

One insider said: "The 25 December is a Saturday so the bank holiday is transferred to Monday. Royal Mail is saying that Christmas Day is not a bank holiday - it's a non-service day - and we don't get a day off for it. The hours have got to be put back."

Industrial action is likely if the two sides cannot agree.

The insider added: "We're not happy with the response that we're getting.

"They do seem to have taken on board our concerns about the single day delivery. But we're not happy about the non-service day."

A Royal Mail spokeswoman, however, remained optimistic a solution would be reached.

"We have been having constructive talks with the union and we're confident we'll come to an agreement that everyone's happy with. We plan Christmas carefully - it's our busiest time of the year. The sooner we reach an agreement, the better."

Talks will continue this week.

Concerns have been raised about how Royal Mail would handle the Christmas rush after the introduction of the single day delivery, which unions claim has upped the workload.

Managers had warned that the service could be thrown into chaos as workers struggled to keep up with demand. However, Royal Mail revealed a series of measures last week, including reinstating night mail trains during December.

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