CWU names next Friday as strike date after management refuses to budge

Tim Lezard

Post OfficeThe CWU has served notice for more strike action in the country’s network of 373 Crown Post Offices after management refused to budge in a dispute over closures, job security and pay.

The union had postponed the strike planned for today to allow for talks, but these talks broke down when the Post Office stuck to its original bargaining position.

As a result, up to 4,000 staff will be involved in a half day of strike action on April 19th, starting at 2.30pm, with further strikes on the horizon if Post Office management continues to refuse to negotiate.

The strike will affect the big Crown offices which handle 20% of all Post Office business. CWU is in opposition to Post Office plans to close or franchise 76 Crown offices which would affect over 800 jobs, and is seeking to protect jobs and services, and secure a fair pay rise for staff who have had no rise since April 2011. Members voted by almost 9 to 1 (88%) in favour of strike action.

CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: “Post Office management’s behaviour is astonishing. They appear to have no regard for their Crown office staff who voted by nine to one to reject the company’s pay offer which is linked to the loss of 76 Crown offices. Their flawed plans to close or franchise 76 offices are meeting robust opposition in communities across the country and our members remain determined to secure a fair deal on job security and pay.”

CWU national official Andy Furey said: “The Post Office is in disarray. We have really been left with no option other than to take further strike action. We took the offer of talks from the Post Office in good faith, only to be subjected to one of the worst meetings I’ve endured as a union negotiator. This management is currently not interested in resolving this dispute. They are determined to charge headlong into a damaging closure and franchise programme and are deaf to the reasonable options we have tried to put to them on pay and the future of the network. Our members’ confidence in this management is at an all time low.

“We will not lie down over these issues, we will not be going away. This is far too important to the livelihoods of our members and to the 76 communities facing the loss of their Crown Post Office. Only a dramatic change of attitude from Post Office management with demonstrable intention to negotiate could put this dispute on the road to resolution.”

Strike action on Easter Saturday was overwhelmingly supported by CWU members.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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