National celebration of Postal Workers Day
Postal workers from Plymouth to Scotland are planning to mark the first National Postal Workers Day on Monday (December 17) by delivering mail in Santa hats.
There will be celebrations in scores of towns and cities including York, Cardiff, Bristol, Brighton, Norwich, Rochdale, and Shrewsbury.
Postal workers are also supporting the day in Witney and Carterton - in prime minister David Cameron's Oxfordshire constituency.
The Communication Workers Union, which represents most postal workers, is concerned that government plans to privatise the post office will make the well-know local postman or woman a thing of the past.
Services are likely to be hit as private firms chase profit. Zero hours contracts and enforced part-time working will hit postal workers.
Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: "In many communities people are reassured that a local postwoman or man, who everybody knows, is a point of daily contact who provides a lifeline for the elderly and isolated.
"Our experience is that private postal companies don't pay a living wage and put workers on zero hours contracts which means they never know when or where they are working.
"It destroys family life and takes the postmen and women out of the communities where they have been embedded for years."
Postal workers are often in the local news. They raise millions of pounds for charity and are the eyes and ears of communities.
In Scunthorpe postman Dave Shipman saved a family-of-five's house from burning down when he heard a smoke alarm while out on his round.
In County Durham postwoman Mandy Joyce summoned up strength she didn't know she had to push away a car that was crushing an 82-year-old grandmother.
130 million items are expected to be in the Royal Mail system alone on 17 December - one of the busiest days of the year.
Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: "Six days a week, 52 weeks a year, in heat waves, floods, and blizzards the UK's postal workers are out on their walks, on the road, and in mail centres playing their part in ensuring that this vital public service delivers to everyone, everywhere.
"Please help CWU celebrate the great work of postal workers and support our campaign to protect the universal service - which guarantees the same price for mail to anywhere in the UK.
"On December 17 say thanks to your postwoman or man. And
express your support for the amazing service they provide."
See where events are confirmed so far.