Up to 6,000 Royal Mail workers could lose their jobs, as the delivery giant blames the recent strikes on its financial losses.

Royal Mail has announced that it will consult on the redundancies before August 2023.

The firm said the move is in response to the “impact of industrial action, delays in delivering agreed productivity improvements and lower parcel volumes”.

It said it is seeking short-term cost efficiencies through the planned reduction of 5,000 full-time equivalent roles by March and around 10,000 by August.

This is expected to require between 5,000 and 6,000 redundancies by August.

Royal Mail is forecast to face a £350m operating loss for the year ahead following industrial action, its parent group International Distributions Services has said.

The cuts announcement comes a day after Royal Mail workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) launched a fresh strike in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Some 110,000 postal workers walked out on strike for the sixth time on Thursday, October 13 from units all over the country.

Barry Jennings, Anglia divisional rep for the CWU, visited lines at Thetford, Bury St Edmunds and Hatfield and said: "I’ve never seen such strong support for the union – stronger than 2009 and 2007.

“They’re worried, angry and all saying they’ll support the union and how important all this is to them.

"If I had to sum up the feeling from members it’d be ‘we’re in it until we win it’.”

In a statement just a day later, following the announcement of possible redundancies, Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson said: “This is a very sad day. I regret that we are announcing these job losses.

“We will do all we can to avoid compulsory redundancies and support everyone affected.

“We have announced today losses of £219m in the first half of the year. Each strike day weakens our financial situation.

“The CWU’s decision to choose damaging strike action over resolution regrettably increases the risk of further headcount reductions.”