A second wave of one-day postal strikes began today bringing further uncertainty to retailers planning their deliveries in the crucial run up to Christmas.
Royal Mail and union leaders failed to reach a deal to end their long-running dispute over pay this morning. The Communication Workers Union said that 43,700 staff across the UK in mail centres and delivery units walked out this morning at 4am.
Retailers including Debenhams, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Shop Direct Group and N Brown have all signalled to customers via online banners that they have alternative carriers in place where necessary to ensure customers receive their goods.
However, uncertainty over the length of the strikes could result in lower consumer confidence in online shopping. Earlier this month, IMRG Capgemini attributed record low etail sales growth in September in part to the strikes.
Today’s strikes will be followed tomorrow by the walk out of 400 workers in the towns of Plymouth, Stockport and Stoke and then on Saturday by the striking of 77,000 delivery and collection staff nationwide.
According to reports, the backlog of undelivered mail from two strikes last week stands at 2 million items.