Post Office strike December 2022: When is the last day to send cards and gifts to make sure they arrive before Christmas Day? Post Office offers tips on common mistakes to avoid

With the Christmas strike led by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) this week, people will have to prepare their Christmas cards and gifts earlier than usual.

The CWU announced on Tuesday, December 13, 2022 that planned Christmas strikes will go ahead after Royal Mail CEOs dismissed ‘peace compromise’. The union proposed four simple solutions to end the current disagreement: a back-dated pay deal of nine per cent over 18 months; a long-term job security commitment from Royal Mail CEOs; a pause on the ongoing attacks on union representatives and members; a period of calm for negotiations on the future direction of the company.

According to the CWU, Royal Mail did not agree to meet with the union and sent a one-page document, via ACAS, at 3.45pm on Tuesday, December 13. This response has prompted members of the CWU to go ahead with strikes on Wednesday, December 14, Thursday, December 15, Friday, December 23 and Saturday, December 24.

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CWU general secretary, Dave Ward, said: “Actions by Royal Mail CEOs show they couldn’t be less interested in resolving this dispute or saving Christmas - their sole intention is to destroy the livelihoods of over 115,000 postal workers and wreck the service they provide. Posties are facing an outright assault on their livelihoods and dignity, and have no choice but to see this dispute through to its conclusion.

Post Office. (Pic credit: Simon Hulme)Post Office. (Pic credit: Simon Hulme)
Post Office. (Pic credit: Simon Hulme)

“The reckless, aggressive and bullying attitude from senior managers of this company is now totally out of control. When our members take strike action on Wednesday and Thursday, the question every media outlet should be asking is not why they’re striking, but why these people are being allowed to get away with the evaporation of a 500-year-old national treasure.”

So what does this mean for people who would like to post their cards and gifts in time for Christmas? Here is everything you need to know.

When is the last day to send cards and gifts to make sure they arrive before Christmas?

Many people in the UK worry they will be seen as not making an effort if gifts and cards arrive late.

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The industrial action means that Friday, December 16, 2022 is now the final date to post for first class deliveries to arrive in time for Christmas Day, with the deadline for second class deliveries having already passed.

The Post Office is recommending customers visit branches ahead of the Friday deadline; this could reduce the risk of gifts getting caught in potential delays amid strike action, whilst also avoiding the Christmas rush.

However, if customers are unable to get into a branch by Friday, they’re in luck, as they can still use Royal Mail’s Special Delivery Guaranteed Service until December 21 to make sure cards and gifts arrive before Christmas Day.

The Post Office is reminding customers that knowing how to make Christmas parcels easily accepted into a branch is key when it comes to a smooth trip, with its research showing that more than one in 10 have had a parcel rejected.

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The most common reasons for being caught out were shown to be trying to send parcels containing batteries, parcels not being wrapped correctly and illegible writing.

Post Office customer experience director, Laura Joseph, said: “Royal Mail has brought forward the last recommended posting dates for many of its services. As a result, Friday 16th December is now likely to be even busier in Post office branches as customers race to ensure cards and gifts arrive for Christmas Day.

“As soon as you’ve got your parcels ready to go get them in the post - many Post Office branches are open long hours, and some are open seven days a week so pop into your local branch and get your gifts sent in time for Christmas.”

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