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

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

Planes, trains, driving lessons and mail delivery are disrupted by strikes in the days leading up to Christmas.

Thousands of workers from Border Force, National Highways, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and Royal Mail will take industrial action on Friday.

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

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Strikes in the days leading up to Christmas are expected to cause further travel disruptions (James Manning/PA)

This follows two days of strikes by NHS workers, when thousands of nurses walked out on Tuesday and ambulance workers joined the picket line on Wednesday.

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

The strike will affect travelers 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 bank holiday with no coronavirus travel restrictions since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, National Highway workers in London and the South East, also represented by the PCS, will continue their four-day strike that began on Thursday.

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Members of the Royal College of Nursing on strike earlier this week (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The workers who plan, design, build, operate and maintain the roads are following the actions of their colleagues in Yorkshire & Humber in the North West and North East of England.

PCS Secretary General Mark Serwotka said they plan to “escalate” measures before Christmas and said it was “likely to harass travelers”.

Postmen and women, represented by the Communication Workers Union (CWU), are also to go out for their action on the fifth day of December, in what Royal Mail has criticized as a “cynical attempt to blackmail Christmas for ransom”.

The company said it would do whatever it takes to deliver Christmas mail and revealed the industrial action had cost it £100million.

RMT rail workers will stage another strike on Christmas Eve from 6pm which could prevent people from getting home for Christmas.

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Union rescue workers have announced a second wave of strikes for January (James Manning/PA)

After Christmas, strike dates were set through January 26, with industrial action taking place daily through January 13, according to the schedule.

Ambulance workers, represented by Unison, were the latest to announce new strike action in England, with members due to pull out on January 11th and 23rd.

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

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

NHS trust leaders have warned Christmas could be one of the darkest yet for the healthcare system as strikes threaten to worsen an “already deeply challenging situation”.

Figures for the last week show that one in four ambulance patients in England waited more than an hour to be handed over to hospital emergency teams.

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

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