Wave of Christmas strikes hits Lincolnshire

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Thousands of workers have started industrial action today, December 19, across the postal services, railways and airlines, causing disruptions for commuters this Christmas.

Crown Post Office staff in Lincolnshire have started a five day strike in the lead up to Christmas following ongoing dispute over jobs, pensions and branch closures.

The industrial action will impact on 300 branches nationwide including 18-20 St Peters Hill, Grantham, 67-71 Victoria Street, Grimsby and All Saints Place in Stamford and follows previous actions in September and October.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has requested that Post Office suspends its franchise programme in order to call off the strike action and return to the discussion table, however the business has not obliged.

Tim Pavelin, Sector Representative for the CWU, covering Lincolnshire, said: “There’s been a slight development in which the union offered to stop the strike action in return for the Post Office to suspend its franchise programme whilst further talks can be conducted. But the business refused this offer.

“In Lincolnshire, staff will be asked to take strike action today and tomorrow and this will be followed by staff who deliver cash on Thursday and Friday.

“On Saturday, Post Office staff have been asked to take strike action again for Christmas Eve.

“We do feel that the Post Office is under immense pressure and we hope the business will come around to getting back to the bargaining table.

“I would also like to thank the tens of thousands of people who have signed post cards and the media who have highlighted the concerns of a post office in crisis.”

The Post Office has confirmed that all Lincolnshire branches are open today, despite strike action by the Communication Workers Union.

Despite the strike action, Post Office has reassured customers and businesses that it will be Christmas as usual in over 97% of its network of 11,600 branches.

Travel disruptions

In addition to Crown Post Office strikes, workers at Southern Rail have also launched industrial action today and tomorrow due to a dispute over the role of conductors, which is expected to impact on more than 300,000 travellers across the country.

National RMT members say that plans to remove the role of conductor could cause health and safety issue for passengers as well as a loss of jobs.

British Airways cabin crew and members of the Unite union are also set to strike on Christmas Day and Boxing Day over pay. Those travelling over the Christmas period are expected to face disruption.

Swissport baggage handlers and other ground staff at 18 airports across the UK, who are also Unite members, will walk out on Friday and Christmas Eve due to a dispute over pay.