Who's on strike - and WHEN - over Christmas

Planes, trains and postal service to be affected by pre-Christmas strikes

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Planes, trains, driving lessons and postal deliveries are set to be disrupted by strikes in the days before Christmas.

Thousands of Border Force, National Highways, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and Royal Mail employees are due to take industrial action on Friday.

While these workers continue their strike into Saturday, staff represented by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), Abellio London bus workers, and Environment Agency employees will also launch separate waves of action.

This follows two days of strikes by NHS staff, as thousands of nurses walked out on Tuesday, and ambulance workers joined picket lines on Wednesday.

More than 250,000 passengers arriving at UK airports on Friday have been warned to expect delays due to strikes by around 1,000 Border Force staff who are members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union.

The walkout will affect travellers at Heathrow, Birmingham, Cardiff, Gatwick, Glasgow and Manchester airports, and the port of Newhaven in East Sussex.

This comes during the busiest Christmas for airports since 2019, as the first festive period without coronavirus travel restrictions since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, National Highways workers in London and the South East, also represented by the PCS, will continue their four-day walkout which started on Thursday.

The workers, who plan, design, build, operate and maintain the roads, are following action by colleagues in Yorkshire & Humber, north-west and north-east England.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said they plan to “escalate” action ahead of Christmas and it is “likely to inconvenience travellers”.

UK strikes in December & January.
UK strikes in December & January.

Postmen and women represented by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are also due to walk out for their fifth day of December action, in a move which Royal Mail criticised as “a cynical attempt to hold Christmas to ransom”.

The company said it will be doing all it can to deliver Christmas mail, revealing that the industrial action has cost it £100 million.

RMT railway workers will stage another strike from 6pm on Christmas Eve, which could prevent people from making it home for Christmas.

Post-Christmas, strike dates have been set until January 26, with industrial action taking place daily until January 13 as the schedule stands.

Ambulance workers represented by Unison became the latest to announce fresh strike action in England, with members to walk out on January 11 and 23.

The strike will affect London, Yorkshire, the North West, North East and South West and will involve all ambulance employees, not just the 999 response crews as was the case on Wednesday.

Unison said the new strikes were a result of the Government’s “repeated refusal” to negotiate improvements to NHS pay this year.

NHS trust leaders have warned that Christmas could be one of the darkest to date for the health service, as strikes threaten to aggravate an “already deeply challenging situation”.

Figures for last week show that one in four ambulance patients in England waited more than an hour to be handed to A&E teams at hospitals.

New data also suggests the number of patients in hospital with flu in England has “skyrocketed” and Strep A is driving “near record” demand for NHS 111 services.