Royal Mail is ramping up its Christmas operations, enlisting the help of 16,000 temporary workers to ensure the busiest time of the year runs smoothly for the British postal service.
The temporary employees will help 110,000 posties sort and deliver packages ahead of and throughout the holiday season, including over the annual Black Friday and Cyber Monday splurges.
An extra 6,800 vehicles and 1,000 large vans will transport the festive mail and parcels in a period that was blighted by heavy industrial action last year.
Royal Mail reported losses of over £1bn pounds in May, with strike action costing the postal service over £200m.
This hiring spree may help the company avoid a similar situation this Christmas.
Grant McPherson, chief operating officer at Royal Mail said: “We are pulling out all the stops to deliver Christmas for our customers. It’s our busiest time of the year and we know how important it is for people that we deliver letters and parcels on time.”
“By planning ahead and hiring more people, vans and trucks, we are well-prepared to handle the expected increased festive mail and parcels,” he added.
Royal Mail says around double the normal number of parcels and stamped letters are processed at Christmas.
Last year’s Christmas season was highly disrupted by strike action and retailers even advised customers against buying gifts online.
However the strike action was finally resolved in May when the Communication Workers Union voted for a pay deal ending the dispute, which saw more than 115,000 workers take 18 days of strike action in the final quarter of last year.