Strikes – live updates: Royal mail staff to stage walkout as travel chaos continues in run up to Christmas

By | December 23, 2022

Strikes: Every industrial walkout taking place in December

Thousands of postal service staff will stage a walkout in a move that the Royal Mail has criticized as “a cynical attempt to hold Christmas to ransom”.

This will be the fifth day of strikes by the postal service staff.

Members of the border force, national highways, driver and vehicle standards agency are also due to take industrial action on Friday.

While workers will 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 launch separate action.

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

More than 250,000 passengers arriving at UK airports on Friday were 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 travelers at Heathrow, Birmingham, Cardiff, Gatwick, Glasgow and Manchester airports and the port of Newhaven in East Sussex.

Motorists are being warned to prepare for long queues, as an estimated 16.9 million journeys will be made across the UK.

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List of services on strike today

  • Royal Mail postal workers
  • East Midlands Railways
  • Driving examiners – northern England and Scotland
  • Border Force staff – Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Cardiff airports

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar23 December 2022 04:26

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Royal Mail staff to stage walkout today

Thousands of postal service staff will stage a walkout in a move that the Royal Mail has criticized as “a cynical attempt to hold Christmas to ransom”.

This will be the fifth day of strikes by the postal service staff.

Members of the border force, national highways, driver and vehicle standards agency are also due to take industrial action on today.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar23 December 2022 04:21

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Caught up in BA Christmas chaos? Here are your rights

More than 10,000 British Airways passengers have had long-haul flights canceled due to what the airline calls “a technical issue”.

Dozens of transatlantic flights to London were delayed or canceled overnight – and at least 20 departures are grounded today because planes and crews are out of position.

So what does this mean for travel plans – and what rights do passengers have?

The fault is understood to involve BA’s global flight planning system, which is essential to the airline’s operations. It failed as the nightly wave of overnight departures from the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean were preparing to depart.

Thomas Kingsley23 December 2022 03:15

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When are the last trains home before Christmas?

Members of the RMT union who work for Network Rail are walking out from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on 27 December.

When the Christmas strike was announced, the union said it was “specifically targeting engineering works” rather than passenger trains.

The aim was to scupper a £120m program of improvement work planned for the Christmas shutdown – though Network Rail says 85 per cent of planned projects are going ahead.

Read the full story below from our travel correspondent, Simon Calder:

Thomas Kingsley23 December 2022 02:15

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Pictured: A week of strikes in photos

(Getty Images)

Ambulance workers on the picket line (Owen Humphreys/PA)

(PA Wire)

Royal Mail delivery vehicles and cages of mail at the Bristol Filton office (Ben Birchall/PA)

(PA Wire)

(REUTERS)

Thomas Kingsley23 December 2022 01:15

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What to expect on 23 December

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.

(PA Wire)

Thomas Kingsley23 December 2022 00:16

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Train strikes: Every date in December 2022 and January 2023

Rail passengers face severe travel disruption over Christmas and the New Year as workers stage a series of 48-hour strikes in December and January in the long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

The RMT union has revealed that more than 40,000 workers across Network Rail and 14 train operating companies will stage a series of 48-hour walk-outs.

Industrial action is due to take place over the key Christmas period, with members walking out from 6pm on 24 December until 7am on 27 December. Most trains do not run on 25 and 26 December anyway, but those aiming to travel by rail to see loved ones either side of Christmas Day will be affected.

Read the full story below:

Thomas Kingsley22 December 2022 23:12

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ICMYI:

The two further ambulance strike dates announced by Unison for January will “add even more pressure to an already challenging situation”, the head of a group representing NHS trusts across England has said.

Saffron Cordery, the interim chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “Today’s announcement of two more strike dates by a wider range of ambulance workers in January will add even more pressure to an already challenging situation following strike action by nurses and ambulance staff earlier in the week.

“We’ve already seen significant disruption to patient services with thousands of appointments being rescheduled or cancelled, with the fallout from this week’s strike action likely to be felt for days to come.

“And we know that ambulance staff don’t want to be striking either, but feel driven to take this step.

“The potential to continue to escalate action and for prolonged, co-ordinated strikes by more health unions in January if talks – including on pay – don’t take place is incredibly worrying.

“There are no winners in this situation. Serious talks must take place between health ministers and unions – and fast.”

Thomas Kingsley22 December 2022 22:14

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PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka has said that strikes by union members will cause “significant” disruption, but that the blame lies squarely with the government.

Around 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union employed by the Home Office to operate passport booths will walk out at Heathrow, Birmingham, Cardiff, Gatwick, Glasgow and Manchester airports, and the port of Newhaven in East Sussex.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme, he said his union had been “forced into this position”.

“There wouldn’t be any disruption if the government, instead of being missing in action, asked itself why are we having an unprecedented amount of strike action in Britain? It is because of poverty.

“Public support or not, if the government is going to look you in the eye and say ‘we know that the people we employ are using food banks and are desperate over Christmas – they cannot put the heating on in some cases – but we’ re going to do nothing about it, even though we can’, what else are working men and women supposed to do other than the absolute last resort of withdrawing their labour?”

Thomas Kingsley22 December 2022 21:45

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A quarter of a million passengers arriving to the UK warned to expect delays

Around a quarter of a million passengers arriving at UK airports on Friday are being warned to expect delays due to the start of Border Force strikes.

Around 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union employed by the Home Office to operate passport booths will walkout at Heathrow, Birmingham, Cardiff, Gatwick, Glasgow and Manchester airports, and the port of Newhaven in East Sussex.

The Border Force strikes will take place every day from Friday to the end of the year, except 27 December.

Aviation data company Cirium said 1,290 flights are scheduled to land at affected airports on the first day of industrial action, with a total capacity of more than a quarter of a million passengers.

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

There are fears that delays in checking the passports of arriving passengers could lead to long queues and even people being held on planes, disrupting subsequent departures.

Thomas Kingsley22 December 2022 21:10

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