Thousands of households across the UK may not receive their mail until after 5pm following new changes proposed by Royal Mail.
The postal company says it wants to scale back deliveries and redesign its network to keep up with competing firms as people order packages later in the night.
It said that starting staff later would allow sorting offices to process next-day deliveries on time.
Which areas could receive their mail after 5pm?
If the proposed changes go ahead, it means more than 100 areas of the UK will not receive their mail until 5pm or later, it says The Telegraph.
Of these 100 areas, 17 areas are not allowed to receive their mail until 6 p.m. at the earliest. This includes parts of London, Cornwall, Cumbria, Wales and Scotland.
Meanwhile, people living in Kinross, near Perth, are not allowed to have their parcels delivered until 7.30pm.
A Royal Mail spokesman confirmed to The Telegraph that the figures were based on “high-level” assumptions and no final decisions had been made.
The spokesman added that the service is also aiming to deliver all letters by 5pm at the latest, instead of the current 4pm.
Will there be more strikes?
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says services are disrupted as a result of industrial action scheduled to take place on August 26 and 31 and September 8 and 9 amid a dispute over pay.
More than 115,000 postal workers will go on what the CWU says is the biggest strike of the summer in the coming weeks to demand a “dignified, fair pay rise.”
The decision follows a recent strike action vote in which members voted 97.6% in favor of a 77% turnout to take action.
CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “Nobody takes the decision to strike lightly, but postal workers are being marginalized.
“There is no doubt that postal workers are totally united in their determination to secure the decent and appropriate pay rise they deserve.
“We cannot go on living in a country where bosses make billions in profits while their employees are forced to use blackboards.
“If Royal Mail’s bosses rake in £758m in profits and shareholders pocket £400m, our members will not accept any declarations of poverty from the company.
“Postal workers will not accept their living standards being squeezed by greedy business leaders who have no connection to modern Britain. They are fed up with corporate failure being rewarded over and over again.
“The CWU’s message to Royal Mail leadership is simple – there will be serious disruption until you really get paid.”
Royal Mail said it had granted an unconditional 2% pay rise, retroactive to 1 April 2022, following the conclusion of negotiations with the CWU. A further 3.5% rise is available subject to a number of changes being agreed.
The company said: “The CWU rejected this offer, worth up to 5.5%, which would add around £230m to Royal Mail’s annual staff costs at a time when the business is already making losses.
“In the Q1 trade update published on July 20, Royal Mail revealed it was losing £1m a day and the proposed pay deal adds more than £0.5m a day to that figure. This can only be paid for with a meaningful business change.”
“If the announced strike action takes place, Royal Mail in the UK is expected to post significant losses in the 2022-23 financial year.”
The CWU said the 2% increase was imposed without an agreement and that the extra money being offered is based on changes in terms of business or the achievement of targets. The union added that the wage increase was well below the rising rate of inflation.
Ricky McAulay, Operations Director at Royal Mail added: “After more than three months of talks, the CWU has failed to have a meaningful discussion about the changes we need to modernize or come up with alternative ideas.
“The CWU rejected our offer worth up to 5.5% for CWU colleagues, the largest increase we have offered in many years.
“At a company that is currently losing £1million a day, the only way we can fund this offer is by agreeing to the changes that will pay for it.
“Royal Mail can have a bright future, but we cannot achieve it by living in the past.