THOUSANDS of undelivered Christmas packages have piled up amid postal workers’ strike – abandoned holiday gifts for rats to chew.
Families face a gift-free Christmas as the post office strike has left depots overwhelmed with stranded deliveries.
The latest 48-hour strike by the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents 115,000 postal workers, began today.
Further strikes are planned for December 23 and 24, just before Christmas.
The huge backlog has caused thousands of parcels to pile up across the country – leading to a run-down Bristol depot being overrun by vermin.
Undelivered Christmas presents are left exposed to the elements amid the recent winter weather bomb, as foxes and rats are free to munch through the chaos.
Shocking images of Royal Mail’s main Bristol depot in Filton show the impact the strike chaos is having on Christmas deliveries.
A CWU member told The Telegraph: “The packages have now attracted rats and other animals including a fox.”
Another local CWU official said: “Things are being left open at the Bristol Mail Center and I think it’s like bugs and other animals are trying.”
And the situation at the depot appears to be spiraling out of control as an unnamed worker scoffed at plans to cover deliveries from the elements.
“It would have to be the largest tarpaulin in the world, everything is broken there,” they said.
Royal Mail claimed the stunning images of the backlog showed the 30,000 deliveries going through the depot every hour.
The delivery service added that they were “moving very quickly through the center and on to the next leg of their journey.”
It reportedly didn’t respond to claims that rats and foxes, along with rain and snow, were damaging Christmas deliveries.
But a CWU spokesman dismissed the Royal Mail’s claim that the images did not show a festive delivery crisis.
He said: “It will take at least a month to clear this backlog. When Royal Mail says ‘everything is fine’, that is absolutely not true.
“The work comes in, they upload it, but there’s no place to put it.
“If you post a first-class letter or parcel today, honestly I don’t know if it’ll get there before Christmas Eve, that’s the truth, but it’s not what people are told.”
The delivery service set the earliest recommended postage date for second-class deliveries as Brits had until Monday to post their Christmas cards.
Those who missed it have been warned their celebratory gifts may not be delivered until February.
In a statement, Royal Mail criticized the CWU strike action for “holding Christmas for ransom”.
The delivery service said: “We are doing everything we can to deliver Christmas for our customers and to minimize the impact of any harmful industrial disputes.
“The CWU is on strike at our busiest time and is holding Christmas as a ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country.
“We have well-developed contingency plans to minimize delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.
“However, we cannot fully replace the daily efforts of our frontline workers on days when the CWU is on strike.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6912232/foxes-rats-parcels-royal-mail-depot-strikes-piling-up/ Foxes and rats were spotted chewing up parcels at the Royal Mail depot while strikes caused mail to pile up ahead of Christmas