CHRISTMAS cards may not be delivered until NEXT YEAR amid devastating strikes that threaten to upend the big day.
Brits are being warned they might have just DAYS to post their Christmas wishes as the Royal Mail strikes continue to cause huge backlogs.
The delivery service has indicated customers have until December 12 if they want second-class postage items to arrive in time for Christmas Day.
And cards may not arrive until February amid fears the festive strike action could ruin Christmas gift-giving across the country, union insiders have warned.
Millions of letters have already begun piling up after 115,000 staff on Friday began six days of industrial action in the run up to Christmas Day.
Sources claimed that the "catastrophic" strike action could see families left without Christmas deliveries well into next year.
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A source told the Telegraph: "The backup of the post is really bad, it’s tremendous.
“Royal Mail is focusing on parcels and there is not a lot of room in the model for letters.”
He warned that “Christmas cards will likely be very late" – and added that some will “certainly” not be arriving until February.
However, Royal Mail claim that there is "no evidence" to suggest that Brits will be waiting until February for their Christmas cards.
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The delivery service insisted there are contingency plans in place to minimise delays.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We note that this assertion is based on the views of a single anonymous contact. There is no evidence to suggest that Christmas cards will arrive in February.
"We are doing all we can to deliver Christmas for our customers and minimise the impact of damaging industrial action over the festive season including bringing forward our latest recommended posting dates."
The CWU is striking at our busiest time, holding Christmas to ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country
"We apologise to our customers and strongly urge them to post early for Christmas," they continued.
"We have been doing a good job of quickly recovering from days of industrial action and have well developed contingency plans in place to minimise delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.
"However, we cannot fully replace the daily efforts of our frontline workforce on days the CWU are taking strike action.”
The strikes have seen the Royal Mail's recommended Christmas post deadline of December 12 become the earliest it has been since records began in the 1880's.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are planning further strike action on December 11, 14, 15, 23 and 24.
The threat of February deliveries was also warned of by Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West, who has campaigned about postal delays for several years.
She said: "If the strikes go on and on and on I imagine it will be Feb” by the time some Brits finally receive their Christmas cards.
She added that she has targeted the devastating delays after receiving "countless distressing emails" last year from those who were forced to spend Christmas "alone and isolating without a single card or gift arriving".
WINTER OF DISCONTENT
Britain's winter of strikes will also see walkouts by nurses, rail workers, ambulance staff, Border Force officers and National Highways crews.
Union bosses have been slammed for their festive chaos, with their plans now ruining our Armed Forces' Christmas.
The strike action has meant troops will now be drafted in to keep the country running rather than spending time with their families.
Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, a former Army captain, said unions “should be ashamed of forcing the mobilisation of regular and reserves who will now forgo spending precious time with their own families”.
Thousands of Christmas holiday plans have also been doomed by planned Border Force walkouts, with staff set to strike over Christmas and New Year.
The travel chaos will also be marked by railway staff strikes on 13-14 and 16-17 December – before hitting AGAIN from 6pm Christmas Eve to 6am on December 27.
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But one heroic pub landlord has hit back against the striking staff, outraging rail workers as cancelled their Christmas do.
Andy Shaw, owner of the Portwall Tavern, Bristol, took his revenge against the strikers set to grind the nation to a halt.
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