Royal Mail has brought forward its Christmas delivery deadline for customers amid ongoing strikes from postal workers.

Members of the Communications Workers Union have been striking throughout December, with more strike days announced for the week before Christmas.

The strikes are expected to create delays in the delivery of parcels and letters at the busiest time of the year for the service.

Royal Mail accused the workers of “holding Christmas to ransom”.

Nick Landon, chief commercial officer, of Royal Mail, said: “The CWU is striking at our busiest time, holding Christmas to ransom for our customers, businesses, and families across the country.

Dunfermline Press:

“We apologise to our customers for any disruption and delay that the CWU strike action is causing. We ask our customers to post early for Christmas to help us deliver Christmas.”

Royal Mail’s revised deadline for first class post is Friday, December 16, which has been brought forward from December 21.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “Royal Mail bosses are risking a Christmas meltdown because of their stubborn refusal to treat their employees with respect.

“Postal workers want to get on with serving the communities they belong to, delivering Christmas gifts and tackling the backlog from recent weeks.

“But they know their value, and they will not meekly accept the casualisation of their jobs, the destruction of their conditions and the impoverishment of their families.

“This can be resolved if Royal Mail begin treating their workers with respect, and meet with the union to resolve this dispute.”

The CWU said it had offered “simple solutions” to end the dispute, including a back-dated pay deal of 9% over 18 months, a long-term job security commitment from Royal Mail’s chief executive and a period of calm for negotiations on the future direction of the company.

Dunfermline Press:

The union said Royal Mail did not offer to meet with the CWU, adding that planned strikes on Wednesday December 14, Thursday December 15, Friday December 23 and Saturday December 24 are set to go ahead.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “Today’s actions by the Royal Mail 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.

“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.”