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Millions of children across the UK will tonight breathe a sigh of relief as a last minute pay deal struck between Santa and the National Union of Elves has averted the threat of industrial action set to take place in the North Pole this Christmas Eve.

Christmas ElvesThe Union, which represents Elves employed in Santa’s workshops, grottos and state-of-the-art high-volume distribution hubs, claimed victory in the industrial dispute as Santa made significant concessions to the striking workers. The dispute initially began over fears that Santa would offshore areas of toy production to China after it emerged that he had significantly enhanced his commercial real estate holdings in the Guangdong province, but later spread to other areas, including Santa’s increasing use of zero hours contracts, seasonal working arrangements for grotto elves and alleged health and safety breaches, including one incident where an assembly line elf was bitten by an escaped Hatchimal.

The strike was called off after a deal was reached which will see the living wage paid to all elves employed at the North Pole. The package is also understood to include a commitment by Santa to spread the workload of the elves more evenly throughout the year to avoid long periods of lay-off in the summer followed by sustained breaches of the Working Time Regulations during the pre-Christmas rush. The elves will return to their posts this evening and work will resume in time for Christmas Eve.

Doubts still remain however over the dispute between Santa and the Federation of Reindeer which could yet throw the festive period into turmoil. The Reindeer are said to be unhappy at Santa’s use of non-magical reindeer for various non-sled tasks throughout the year which the Federation claims could pose a health a safety risk to members of the public. A ballot for industrial action supported by the Federation is thought to be going ahead this week.

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