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All the strikes taking place in December: Royal Mail, rail and NHS

Postal workers on the picket line at the Kilburn Delivery Office in north west London. Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) - Aaron Chown/PA
Postal workers on the picket line at the Kilburn Delivery Office in north west London. Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) - Aaron Chown/PA

Disruption is set to plague the UK this winter as industrial action planned by trade unions will bring the country to a halt.

There is some form of industrial action planned for every day in December as rail workers, including staff at Eurostar, nurses, teachers, security guards handling cash, driving examiners and rural payments officers have announced strikes.

The true scale of the disruption is set to be significantly worse, as the union representing civil servants, including Border Force officers, Passport Office staff and National Highways employees, has backed strike action but is yet to confirm dates.

With soaring inflation fuelling a cost of living crisis, unions are demanding bumper pay increases for their members. Inflation is at 11.1pc, a 41-year high.

We've compiled a timeline to breakdown which strikes will be happening on each day in December:

Which train lines will be affected by rail strikes?

Across December and January, there will be both regional and national rail strikes. Nearly every train line will be impacted in some way.

The strikes are by RMT members at Network Rail and across 13 train operators.

Taking into account scheduled engineering works and further regional strike action between Christmas and New Year, some lines will be largely out of service for the best part of a month from the middle of December.

Will postal strikes affect Christmas deliveries?

Royal Mail workers have launched wave of strikes that is set to continue through December in a round of industrial action set to cause misery for millions of households posting gifts in the run up to Christmas.

Strikes taking place on December 23 and Christmas Eve threaten to cause particular havoc for late packages making their way to millions of households.

Royal Mail is urging customers to “allow plenty of time” for posting items this year.

CWU communication workers union royal mail industrial action postal strikes - Guy Smallman/Getty Images Europe
CWU communication workers union royal mail industrial action postal strikes - Guy Smallman/Getty Images Europe

If you want cards and presents to arrive by Christmas Day, you should post 2nd class items at the latest by December 19, while 1st class should be sent no later than December 21.

Special deliveries and tracked guaranteed items should be sent by December 22. Special deliveries with the company’s “Saturday guarantee” can be sent on December 23.

Ambulance and nurses strikes

On Wednesday, the Unite and GMB unions announced that ambulance service workers had voted for industrial action and possible strikes before Christmas.

It follows Unison, which represents hundreds of thousands of health workers, including ambulance staff as well as porters and cleaners, announcing on Tuesday that 80,000 of its members had backed taking industrial action.

Nurses strikes in December could result in thousands of operations being cancelled. On Dec 15 and 20, up to 100,000 nursing staff will take part in strikes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland next month, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said.