Andy Furey slams Post Office’s ‘privatisation obsession’

Postal, Post Office (PO)

Community campaigning to save our nation’s beleaguered Post Office network will be stepped up over the coming weeks in response to the announcement of yet more back-door privatisation plans by the company.

Senior national CWU representatives met yesterday and unanimously backed a proposal from assistant secretary Andy Furey to relaunch the union’s Save Our Post Office activities – with a particular emphasis on winning the widest possible support from local residents and small businesses.

“It’s a disgrace that, just a few days into the New Year, the company has rushed to hand out another five Crown post offices to retailers – taking absolutely no notice of the disastrous track record of these ‘franchise partner’ arrangements in postal services,” he explains.

“Are the Post Office senior management in a panic over the huge £58 million payout they’ve had to make to compensate postmasters for the company’s appalling treatment of them?

“Or is this just the Post office’s ongoing obsession with privatisation?”

Crown offices in Diss (Norfolk), Haverhill (Suffolk) and Dorking are due to be franchised out to ZCO Ltd by April, while Crowns in Edinburgh and Stockport will be handed off to Chris Allan and Samfail respectively.

And the CWU has also learnt that a sixth Crown – in Lerwick on Shetland – is also set for privatisation, to local retail business Conochies Ltd, by the end of February.

A resumption of this programme had been expected by the CWU, following the result of the general election, Andy continues, “and if this is to be the case, then we must resume and step up our campaigning against it.

“And so, over the coming weeks and months, while our reps will be fully engaged in dealing with membership issues arising from these developments, they will also be instigating, and be heavily involved in, community-led campaigns in opposition to the franchising – supported by our branches and activists.

“Watch out for announcements of campaign events and activities coming up in your area,” urges Andy.

“Let’s say it loud and clear: Save Our Post Office.”