Thousands of Post Office workers prepare for Easter Saturday strike

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Thousands of Post Office staff working in the country's network of 373 Crown offices are preparing for strike action on Easter Saturday in a dispute over closures, job security and pay.

Download the full list of 373 Crown Offices affected by strike action.

Post Office Ltd plans to close or franchise 76 offices - 20 per cent of the network - affecting over 800 jobs and dozens of local economies. The company has tried to bribe staff with lump sum payments if they sign up to transformation plans which include these closures, and management have refused to negotiate a fair pay rise for staff - who last received a rise in April 2011. Staff in other parts of the Post Office (admin staff, postmasters, supply chain) have all received pay rises for 2012 but Crown staff have not.

Download the list of 70 Crown Post Offices due to be franchised.

4,000 Post Office staff working in the network of 373 Crown offices, which handle 20 per cent of all Post Office business with four million visits every week, will strike on Easter Saturday. Members voted by 88% in favour of strike action on a 75% turnout.

For picket line information visit: Easter Saturday activity.

Dave Ward
Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: "Our Post Office members are standing up against destructive plans which would slash 20 per cent of the Crown network and are simply asking for fair treatment and job security. The Post Office's plans are short-sighted and would rob the network of the most productive offices while simultaneously putting hundreds of jobs at risk and potentially damaging local economies. We'd like to see a better vision for a successful network which maintains services in the heart of communities alongside quality jobs. We're confident this could be achieved if Post Office management would agree to negotiations."

A meeting was held with arbitration service ACAS yesterday (Wednesday) but no progress was made.

Andy Furey
Andy Furey, CWU assistant secretary, added: "Spirits are high for Saturday's strike despite the Post Office's non-committal attitude towards resolving these issues. The meeting with ACAS was unfortunately only used to re-state management's position instead of taking the opportunity for genuine discussion. It's disappointing but it's what we've come to expect from this regime.

"Our members are steadfast in their conviction that the Crown network is valuable for local communities. Saturday's strike is as much about celebrating these local services as it is a strike to send a strong message to Post Office management. We hope they're listening this weekend."

Background to dispute:

A pay rise was due in April 2012 for Crown Post Office staff but is still outstanding. Other staff employed by the Post Office - in areas such as supply chain and administration -have received pay rises in this period and are set for further rises in 2013. Postmasters have also received a pay agreement totalling £11 million for one year. But the counter staff in Crown offices have had nothing since April 2011.

In February the Post Office announced its intention to franchise or close 76 Crown offices - 20 per cent of the remaining network. This has raised fears over job security for over 800 people working in those offices and uncertainty for the future of other Crown offices.

For more information visit Post Office pay and the future of the Crown Office.

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