Post office strike on the horizon?
Could there be a strike soon following a mass shake up within the Post Office?
Around 80 post offices are set to be either privatised or closed in a huge shake up to the system.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) announced the plans today as it released a dossier of branches affected across the nation.
60 post offices are set to be closed and their services moved elsewhere, such as within WHSmiths branches.
This move could also see 2,000 at risk.
Another 16 Post Offices could see their shops shut and the services moved into local premises such as a nearby local shop. This recently happened in my area and it has gone completely down hill. The member of staff who now runs the post office is someone who runs the shop too so you can usually expect huge queues and they don’t always understand what they are doing. I now travel into the city centre to use the post office there, even though that one is already located inside a WHSmiths store.
A further 4 Post Offices will be shut down completely with no replacement.
The union is also protesting the closure of the Post Office’s defined benefit pension scheme from September which it says will leave thousands of staff worse off.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “The Post Office as we know it is on the brink of extinction.
“It is clear that the board’s plan is one of closure, redundancy and cost cutting on an epic scale which will permanently undermine this great British institution. We are repeating our call for the board to resign with immediate effect and be replaced with people who are actually interested in delivering jobs and services through this iconic brand. We are left with no choice but to take strike action to defend the jobs and pensions of our members and the services they provide.”
There will be a ballot opened on 1st August where workers can choose whether or not to strike. The result will be announced on 19th August. If the strike does go ahead then it will be the first strike of its kind in around 3 year.
Kevin Gilliland, Post Office Network and Sales Director, said: “We’ve made steady progress in making our business simpler to run, reducing costs to the taxpayer whilst at the same time modernising our network which provides essential services to communities throughout the UK. We are making it better for customers providing unprecedented ease of access to our services through longer opening hours. We’re now the largest retailer open on Sundays, with 3,800 of our branches open seven days a week. All of our proposals are taken forward with the utmost care for the people they affect and we’re proud of our track record in supporting people through difficult changes. We will give serious consideration to any ideas that the CWU put forward to help us create the Post Office network our customers need for the future and urge them to work in partnership with us to secure the future of our services.”
List of privatised Post Offices;
England (48): Banbury, Beckenham (SE London), Beeston (Nottingham), Blackfriars Road (London), Bognor Regis, Bransholme (Hull), Bromsgrove, Bury St Edmonds, Cirencester Town, Crouch End (N London), Dingle (Merseyside), Dunmow (Essex), Durham, Felixstowe (Suffolk), Finsbury Park (London), Halifax, Harborne (Birmingham), Harlow (Essex), Harold Hill (East London), Harpenden (St Albans, Herts), Hartlepool, Headingley (Leeds), Honiton (Exeter), Kingstanding (Birmingham), Kingsland High Street (London), Lancaster, Leigh Park (Portsmouth), Lewes, Longton (Stoke on Trent), Lower Edmonton (N London), Maidenhead, Muswell Hill (N London), Newhaven (East Sussex), Penzance, Peterborough City, Pinner (NW London), Sheerness (Kent), South Ockendon (Essex), St Andrews Cross (Plymouth), St Austell, St Johns Wood (Leeds), St Leonards on Sea (East Sussex), Sudbury (Suffolk), Sydenham (SE London), Wakefield, Walworth Road (SE London), Waterlooville (Portsmouth), Willenhall (Birmingham)
NI (1): Londonderry
Wales (5): Aberystwyth, Denbigh, Holywell, Llangefni, Morriston
Scotland (6): Frederick Street in Edinburgh*, Duke Street and Springburn Way in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, East Kilbride and Paisley
List of Post Offices to be shut and moved;
Aberdeen – Union Street, Barnstaple, Bradford – Darley Street, Dunfermline, Norwich – Castle Mall, Chorley, Chichester, Harrow, Llandudno, Lowestoft, Maidstone, Stevenage, Union Street, Warrington, Wood Green, Wrexham
Post Offices which will be shut completely;
Rye Lane (Peckham), Barry (Wales), Antrim (NI), Shaftesbury Square (Belfast)