A national post strike could start as early as next Thursday (October 22) if a last minute deal between the Royal Mail and the Communications Workers Union (CWU) cannot be agreed.

The CWU has written to the Royal Mail with a final offer which, if not met, will lead to the CWU serving notice to strike next week.

CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: “Postal workers do not want to have to take strike action, but neither are they prepared to put up with continuing attacks from a management which is failing.”

Union members voted three-to-one in favour of strike action at the end of last week. Retailers have been forced to look at alternatives for deliveries of smaller parcels to make sure Christmas trade is unaffected.  

Figures out today show that a strike could cost retailers up to £840 a week.