Christmas strikes: What you need to know about walk-outs across the UK

'Tis the season to be frustrated by cancelled trains and missing parcels

Jon Sharman
Tuesday 13 December 2016 19:38
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A board advises passengers of industrial action by Southern railway workers, at Victoria station in London
A board advises passengers of industrial action by Southern railway workers, at Victoria station in London

Argos delivery drivers have said they will strike for 72 hours in the run-up to Christmas - and made the announcment on the day when industrial action by Southern Rail drivers ruined train travel for hundreds of thousands of people.

It was the latest in a series of strikes scheduled over the festive period that threatened to disrupt celebrations for many.

Here is what you need to know about the walk-outs by workers across the country.

Southern Rail

Southern Rail services will be disrupted over three periods in December and January due to a dispute over driverless trains.

Walk-outs will take place on 14 and 16 December, and from 9 to 14 January.

It will mean that no Southern services will run on strike days. Thameslink trains will operate to a normal timetable and the Gatwick Express will run between Victoria and the airport every 30 minutes between 5am and 10pm.

Conductor-only strikes on 19, 20 and 31 December, plus 2 January, will also cause disruption, with affected routes listed on the operator's website.

A ban on drivers working overtime is already severely affecting services on non-strike days.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, who was revealed in 2009 to have claimed expenses to renovate a London flat despite owning three properties within the M25, said he would "have a careful look" at the possibility of legislation to prevent strikes on the railways.

Argos

Delivery drivers will strike for 72 hours beginning on 20 December after they said Argos had failed to pay holiday back pay for two years, amounting to an average of £700 per worker.

The Unite union said the strike was a "last resort" while an Argos spokesman said: "We have contingency plans in place and there will be no impact on customers."

Post Office

Post Office workers are to stage a five-day strike in a continuing dispute over jobs, pensions, and branch closures.

The Communication Workers Union said the walkout would start on Monday 19 December and include Christmas Eve.

Thousands of staff are expected to take part from Crown Post Offices – the larger brances that are usually located in High Streets.

The last day for first-class Christmas post had been 21 December.

But shop counter staff will walk out on 19, 20 December and Christmas Eve, while cash handlers are preparing to strike on 22 and 23 December, which could cause severe disruption to the service.

But Kevin Gilliland, the Post Office's network and sales director, said it would be "business as usual".

Tangerine

Sweets factory workers at Tangerine, the company that makes Mint Humbugs, Wine Gums and more, are planning strike action on 15 December in a row over pay if an agreement cannot be reached.

Food Manufacture reported that the company's offer of a 1.25 per cent pay increase backdated to April had been deemed "derisory" by union members.

A spokesman for GMB said on Tuesday that talks with the conciliation service Acas were ongoing.

Tangerine said its factory, in York, would remain open despite strike action.

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