Exact dates workers are set to strike this Christmas including post and trains – check if you’re affected

A WAVE of strikes are set to hit the UK this month, with nearly one walkout planned every day up to Christmas.

Thousands of workers from various industries are set to walk out this Christmas causing huge disruption.

Strikes will take place nearly every day in the run-up to Christmas

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Strikes will take place nearly every day in the run-up to Christmas

The sectors that have confirmed strike dates include transport, postal services and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

But other services are also in the process of balloting strike action soon, including the Fire Brigades Union and National Highways employees.

What days are the strikes planned for?

In December, strikes are planned to take place almost every day of the month in the lead up to Christmas.

Here’s a look at the days that strike action is set to take place and which sectors are walking out.

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Royal Mail

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are set to take their first day of strike action.

They have notified Royal Mail that they will be calling on their members who collect, sort and deliver parcels and letters to take strike action over a period of four days.

The strike action will take place on December 9, 11, 14, 15, 23 and 24.

How will I be affected?

Royal Mail has warned that while it will be trying to keep services up and running, the strike action is likely to cause disruption.

It previously warned that it will try and deliver as many parcels sent as special delivery and Tracked24 and will prioritise prescriptions and Covid testing kits.

The postal service recommends that people post items as early as possible before strike dates, and that collections will be less frequent on days of strike action.

Can I avoid the strike action?

Royal Mail is asking customers to post their mail earlier than usual for Christmas this year.

The company is bringing forward its latest recommended posting dates for domestic and international mail to help manage any impact from the strike.

To avoid your post being delayed, make sure you make a note of the last recommended posting dates.

Here’s what days you’ll need to have sent your Christmas post by:

  • December 3 (originally December 9) – Greece, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia) and Turkey
  • December 5 (originally December 10) – Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Poland, Sweden, USA and Canada
  • December 7 (originally December 12) – Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Slovakia
  • December 9 (originally December 14) – Belgium, France and Luxembourg
  • December 12 (originally December 19) – 2nd class, 2nd class signed for and Royal Mail 48
  • December 16 (originally December 21) – 1st class, 1st class signed for, Royal Mail 24 and Tracked 48
  • December 19 (originally December 22) – Royal Mail tracked 24
  • December 21 (originally December 23) – Special Delivery Guaranteed

Could I get compensation?

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you are due a refund on the extra charge you paid to get next day delivery if your parcel doesn’t arrive in that time frame.

Moneycomms personal finance expert Andrew Hagger previously told The Sun: “If you shelled out extra for special or faster delivery and your order gets to you later than was specified, you can claim back the extra delivery cost as the service wasn’t delivered as per your agreement.”

But you should claim this money back the money from the retailer – not the parcel firm.

If your parcel goes missing, you should contact the shop you bought it from to sort it out.

Before you order your package, ensure you read the seller’s delivery terms and conditions.

Rail strikes

Rail strikes are continuing this month as workers dispute pay, job cuts and working conditions.

From Tuesday, December 13, thousands of members of the RWT union working for Network Rail and 14 rail operating companies are set to stage strikes.

Those walking out will include signalling staff, whose absence is likely to cause great disruption along main lines, while smaller lines will have no trains.

The strikes will run from December 13-14 and 16-17.

How will I be affected?

If you’re looking to travel over Christmas, you will want to double check the train timetable to make sure your service is running.

The National Rail journey planner is the best way to check if your journey has been affected by the strike – this is available on its website and app.

While the rail industry says it is working hard to minimise the effect this will have on services, it is “inevitable” that services will be cancelled.

it is likely there will be a very limited service, with trains running at all on some routes.

Can I avoid the strike action?

Unfortunately, there is little you can do to avoid the strike action.

People are advised not to travel during the strikes if possible and use alternative transport means.

Advance tickets may be accepted on different trains and routes during the strike.

But again, this will depend on individual operators.

Travellers are advised to contact train companies directly for more information.

You can contact your train firm by phone, email or social media.

Can I get compensation?

If you have bought an advance train ticket and it’s affected by the strikes, you will be able to claim at least some of your money back.

National Rail said this applies to journeys that have been cancelled, rescheduled or delayed.

The process varies depending on the train operator, but normally you will need to contact the company, provide a picture of your ticket and details of the train you were supposed to be on.

This is part of what’s called “Delay Repay”.

The scheme will give pay-outs to customers if their train has been delayed by a certain amount of time.

How much you get depends on the train operator, the type of ticket and how long the delay was.

In order to claim you’ll need a photo or screenshot of your ticket. If it’s an eticket this needs to include the barcode.

If you’re a season ticket holder, you’ll need to provide a scan of your photocard.

You’ll need your booking confirmation containing your booking reference, journey details and the cost of your ticket.

If you don’t have your ticket then you’ll need to provide a receipt with your journey details and the price paid.

Season ticket holders should be able to claim back 100% of the usual compensation should they decide not to travel on any of the strike days, even if their train hasn’t been cancelled.

This won’t apply to the non-strike days, however, even though services will still be affected by the industrial action.

DWP Staff

Households are due to be hit by benefits chaos as the DWP announce the dates staff will strike over Christmas.

Union members at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are set to walk out for two weeks over the festive period.

The industrial action will start on December 19 and finish on December 30.

Around 200 back office benefits staff are expected to take part along with 30 at three offices in Liverpool and one in Doncaster.

The strike is not expected to affect anyone’s benefits payments but the union expect to disrupt benefit “conditionality” interviews which would usually lead to sanctions.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union strike is on nine days – December 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 and 31.

Baggage Handlers

Christmas travellers using Heathrow airport later this month face as baggage handlers prepare to strike.

The 72-hour strike, starting on December 16, will affect flights operating by ten major airlines from Heathrow terminal 2, 3 and 4.

These include:

  • Air Canada
  • American Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Swiss Air
  • Air Portugal
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Egypt Air
  • Aer Lingus
  • Finnair

The strike involved 350 workers employed by aviation business Menzies.

How will I be affected and can I avoid the strike?

Strike action could cause disruption, delays and potentially cancellations in the run up to Christmas.

There is little you can do to avoid the strike action – but it’s worth checking your flight status before you head to the airport.

You should be able to do this by visiting the airline’s website.

Can I get compensation?

If your flight is cancelled then depending on the circumstances, you may be able to get a refund or compensation.

If you have travel insurance, you should check with your provider what you could get back.

Most passengers will also be protected by so-called Denied Boarding regulations.

Under these, you should be offered a full refund for a cancelled flight or a seat on the next available flight or one at another time.

If you’re left waiting at an airport because of a cancellation, you should be given a food voucher or overnight accommodation and transfers where necessary.

Your airline should have details of your rebook and refund options.

If you booked through a travel agent or tour operator, you will need to contact them directly.

Food delivery

The employees who work delivering food to KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut and Wagamama are set to strike over a real terms pay cut.

They are members of the GMB Union working at Best Food Logistics, which delivers food to big fast-food chains.

The exact dates of the strike are yet to be announced.

A majority of 76% of those who voted were in favour of industrial action, according to GMB.

The drivers, who also deliver fresh food to the likes of Pizza Express and Zizzi, will reportedly announce strike dates imminently.

GMB claims the action will lead to shortages at these restaurants over Christmas.

How will I be affected and can I avoid the strike?

If you’re planning a festive meal, or you want to treat yourself after a spot of Christmas shopping, you may want to plan ahead.

You could call your local restaurant or branch before you visit to avoid disappointment.

Beer

Workers at brewers Greene King will go on strike in a row over pay.

Unite said 188 of its members based in Bury St Edmunds, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, and Abingdon, Oxfordshire, will walk out for five days from today.

The workers brew and distribute Greene King’s products including IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale.

Unite said members voted for strike action after Greene King offered them a 3% pay rise and a one-off payment of £650, which it described as a substantial real-terms wage cut because of inflation.

How will I be affected and can I avoid the strike?

Everyone likes a Christmas tipple, and if you’ve organised some festive drinks, you may want to check they are stocking your favourite drink before you visit.

What other strikes are taking place in December?

On December 7 to 8, Members of the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association and NASUWT will strike in Scotland.

Up to 10,000 members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) union working for NHS employers in England will strike on December 15.

They are set to walkout at 53 NHS organisations in England where the legal mandate for strike action was secured earlier this month.

Security staff working for Eurostar, who are members of the RMT, will begin the first of four days of walk-outs on December 16.

However, disruption to lines is not likely to be caused.

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On December 20, nurses from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) are due to strike once more.

Strike action involving ambulances and other health staff is also possible amid talks by unions.

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