Christmas and Black Friday online deliveries face major delays as Royal Mail staff prepare to strike for 19 days.
The Communication Workers Union announced that the action in October and November will be a mixture of single days and rolling action across Royal Mail Group’s network.
This includes walkouts from 4am on October 13 for 24 hours and then again on October 20 and 25, and November 28.
The union said it will have a “dramatic impact” and will cover peak mail periods such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas build-up.
It comes after similar action in August and earlier this month.
Black Friday takes place on November 25 with major shops like Amazon, Currys and Argos offering discounts to online and in-store shoppers.
Some even start their deals earlier in the lead up to the day, as well as Cyber Monday.
Amazon, meanwhile, has launched a second Prime Day with sale dates for subscribers on October 11 and 12.
All of these discount days are often used by savvy Christmas shoppers looking to get in early with deals weeks before the festive period.
CWU said the move follows a threat centred around the “outrageous” decision by Royal Mail Group’s senior management to withdraw from major national agreements, push ahead with cuts to workers’ terms and conditions and “completely sideline” the union.
However, Royal Mail says changes are needed as it is currently losing £1million a day.
General secretary Dave Ward said: “This is a significant announcement, but it is one which matches the level of anger our members feel at the way Royal Mail Group has treated them.
“The chief executive of Royal Mail Group is treating postal workers as if they are stupid.
“These are the same people that have kept the country connected and returned Royal Mail Group to record profit.
“Postal workers across the UK now face the fight of their lives to save their jobs and the service they provide to every household and business in the UK.
“We call on everyone to stand with their local postal worker.
“If Royal Mail Group are allowed to get away with this then it sends a green light to every rogue big business in the UK.
“We will not stand by and see the Royal Mail Group become the next P&O but we need your backing to win.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “On September 22, Royal Mail invited CWU to enter into talks through Acas to find a resolution to our dispute on change and pay.
“This evening, rather than responding to our offer of Acas talks, the CWU announced further damaging industrial action, once again taking the path of prolonging disruption over resolution.
“Royal Mail is losing £1 million a day and must change faster in response to changing customer demands. We operate in a competitive market, and our customers have choices.
“Further strikes and resistance to transformation by CWU will only make our financial position worse, and threatens the long-term job security of our postmen and women.
“The CWU has a responsibility to recognise the reality of the situation Royal Mail faces as a business and engage urgently on the changes required.
“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s continued strike action will cause. We are doing all we can to minimise any delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”
The full list of dates for confirmed strikes are as follows:
Workers who collect, sort and deliver parcels and letters:
- Friday September 30
- Saturday October 1
- Thursday October 13
- Thursday October 20
- Tuesday October 25
- Monday November 28
Processing, distribution, international, collections, admin:
- November, 3, 9, 15, 24 and December 1
- November 4, 10, 16, 25 and December 2
- November 2, 8, 14, 23, 30