The crisis in the Post Office created by senior Post Office management has forced the Communication Workers Union (CWU) to announce five days of strikes in the week leading up to Christmas, targeting the 300 Crown Offices.
The strike is the latest chapter over the management’s intransigence in refusing to reconsider the closure of the defined salary pension scheme at the end of March 2017.
The CWU are very concerned about the lack of a future coherent business strategy by the top bosses and support the call for a Postbank to be established at the Post Office.
CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said the blame for the disruption rested solely on the Post Office.
He said: “Our members want the Post Office management to pause its closure and privatisation programme, hold off on its planned pensions changes, and commit to sitting down with us and with the other key stakeholders of this Great British institution and, together, construct a lasting vision.
“We want to work together to build a positive future for the Post Office, its workforce and, of course, the people who we serve.
“The CWU can be a constructive partner to work with, but sadly, the people currently running the company have, so far, chosen the path of conflict and industrial disputes.
The dispute affects 3,500 Post Office staff working in Crown post offices, admin and supply chain roles across the UK. Strike action was strongly supported on 15th September, 31st October and 3rd December. Meetings have taken place at ACAS but no meaningful progress was made, with the Post Office unwilling to move on any of the key issues.Dave Ward, CWU general secretary, said: “The stakes have never been higher for the future of the Post Office, its workers and the communities they serve. The Post Office is at crisis point and the management and government need to listen to the workforce.
“Staff and the public are seeing little more than a glorified closure programme from the Post Office and it cannot survive by simply cutting costs. We are calling for the government as the owner of the Post Office to step in, halt the cuts and work with us to develop a proper strategy that will secure the future of the service.”