Cyprus Post apologised on Tuesday to children expecting letters from Santa, as a strike by around 90 postal delivery workers with the union Isotita is set to delay the response from St Nick this Christmas.

The postal services said that they were informed about the strike that will last until December 14 from the media, having no previous warning.

Regarding the delay in receiving letters from Santa, the postal services said that they will do their best to deliver them without delay.

They said that decision to go on strike was taken completely without notice in relation to the demands of other low paid employees across the public sector, a matter which is being mediated with the finance ministry.

“This decision was not communicated to the department as required by the labour institutions. The department was informed about the strike by the mass media,” the postal service said.

The total number of post delivery workers in the department is 298 and includes 207 colleagues who perform home delivery and another 91 who perform other duties. Out of the total of 298 postal distributors, 90 colleagues are on strike.

Isotita on Monday said issues, primarily centred on increases in overtime hours, have affected post office workers for years.

The president of Isotita’s post office delivery branch Antonis Panayi said that the gradual increase in overtime hours led to professional disempowerment and job insecurity among post office workers.

He also added that members of the union have collectively agreed to abstain from overtime work from January 2.

The announcement of the strike took place during a protest held at the entrance of Nicosia, near the Kalispera traffic lights.

According to Panayi, the union notified the general directorate of the Cyprus postal services of the ongoing issues in June 2023 through a letter and again in November 2023, seeking a meeting to resolve the differences.