Royal Mail strike carnage: Christmas cards may not arrive until MARCH as bosses prioritise new parcels over 'horrendous' backlog

A back log of post means Christmas cards may not arrive until February
A back log of post means Christmas cards may not arrive until February

A huge backlog of post is set to become even worse as more Royal Mail strikes are announced, creating fears that Christmas cards may not be delivered until March

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Strikes by Royal Mail workers will go ahead just days before Christmas after their union said the company had turned down an offer of negotiations to resolve a dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Industrial action by the Royal Mail will cause further disruption on top of an already huge backlog as insiders claim the distribution provider are prioritising parcels which means Christmas cards might not arrive until March.

The newest strikes on Friday and Saturday will be the 17th and 18th days of action in the increasingly bitter dispute.

The Royal Mail are set to strike again in the days before Christmas
The Royal Mail are set to strike again in the days before Christmas

An investigation carried out by The Daily Express revealed that just one in 120 first-class letters posted across England arrived at its destination by the next working day.

And of 120 second-class letters posted, 10 were delivered within the Royal Mail's target of two to three working days.

The inquiry also highlighted that 57 per cent of first-class letters and 64 percent of second class letter were not delivered at all after almost two weeks.

One source told the Telegraph: “The backup of the post is really bad, it’s tremendous.

“Royal Mail is focusing on parcels and there is not a lot of room in the model for letters.”

He added: “Christmas cards will likely be very late” with some “certainly” not arriving until February.

Some also claim that the distributor has been focusing on parcels instead of letters because it is the more profitable side of the business.

But the Royal Mail insists that there is "no evidence" that implies Christmas cards will arrive as late as March as contingency plans are in place to minimise delays.

Consumer expert Jane Hawkes has blamed the service for "ruining Christmas".

She said: "The Royal Mail delays could not have come at a worse time and they now risk ruining Christmas."

The Royal Mail strikes have caused a massive back log in letters and parcels
The Royal Mail strikes have caused a massive back log in letters and parcels

“People are becoming increasingly worried that cards for their loved ones won’t arrive in time for the big day or even worse, get lost in the backlog. For many, this could well be a Christmas to remember for the wrong reasons.”

Last week 115,000 Royal Mail workers walked out as more strikes continue on the days before Christmas.

A Royal Mail spokesperson told the Daily Express: “We are doing everything we can to deliver Christmas for our customers and would like to thank the increasing number of posties returning to work each strike day, temporary workers and managers from across the business who are helping to keep the mail moving.

“We’re sorry if customers are experiencing delays in getting their post because of industrial action by the CWU, and recognise it’s particularly worrying for people at this time of year.

“The CWU is striking at our busiest time, deliberately holding Christmas to ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country. The dates these letters were posted fell right in the middle of a number of strike days called by the CWU.”