Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Valentine's Day cards hit by Isle of Man post strike

Flower and cards
Image caption Manx posties normally delivers about 500 bouquets on Valentine's Day

Bouquets of fresh flowers on Valentine's Day will be a "priority" as a three-day postal strike begins, said the Isle of Man Post Office.

But anyone hoping for a Valentine's Day card will be left heartbroken with the cancellation of doorstep deliveries.

The Post Office said it would prioritise commercial deliveries and premium services including the delivery of about 500 perishable bouquets.

About 200 workers are striking over proposed changes to pay and pensions.

Talks between the Communication Workers' Union and Isle of Man Post Office again broke down on Wednesday.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The strike will be held until Saturday 16 February

The union's Steve Halliwell said a "slightly improved offer" was "nowhere near enough to end this dispute".

The strike was called after the Isle of Man Post Office put forward a number of cost-saving measures after recording a loss of more than £1m in 2018.

Cuts include reduced pension benefits and lower pay for new starters, as well as a reduction in postal deliveries.

Mr Halliwell said: "The Isle of Man Post Office has caused this strike by being unreasonable. They could end it if they want to," he added.

Image caption The CWU's Steve Halliwell said the IoMPO have been "completely unacceptable"

The Post Office said mail volumes have halved in the past 10 years, while the use of postal services is falling at an average of 7% a year.

Chief Executive Simon Kneen said "financially responsible changes need to be made to sustain the business in the long-term".

He described the situation as "extremely disappointing and frustrating".

The Post Office said it delivers about 40,000 letters every day to around 45,000 homes and businesses on the island.

The estimated 120,000 letters will be sorted as usual but delivered on Monday.

Some local flower providers deliver their own orders.

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