Post Office – 1st December Day of Action – Join us!

Postal, Post Office (PO)

Saturday December 1st will see protests in cities and towns all over the UK, as the CWU leads a nationwide Day of Action in defence of the UK’s Post Office network.

Speaking at a lively central London launch yesterday, general secretary Dave Ward pointed out that the Post Office bosses’ announcement of the the ‘franchising’ of 74 Crown offices to retailer WH Smith, impacting on some 7-800 jobs, marked a change in their strategy from “managed decline to terminal decline.

“And that’s what we’re facing unless we can force a change of direction,” he told the audience of CWU branch and regional officers, explaining two key reasons for the root causes of this crisis.

Firstly, he sharply criticised “the wrong decision to separate the Post Office from Royal Mail” and reminded people that “no other government in the world has done this.”

And then he turned his fire on the individuals running the company, slamming “senior managers, who get paid large amounts of money and, rather than improve things, they smash them up.”

In the forthcoming campaign, “we need the whole union to get behind this campaign, win as much political support as possible and get out and about among local communities too – fighting as hard as we can to stop as many of these franchises and closures as we can,” Dave urged.

But as well as waging this defensive battle, our general secretary added that the union must also be at the spearhead of fighting for a positive future for our post office network, waging and winning the battle of ideas and setting out our own vision.

Andy Furey, CWU assistant secretary, thanked branches for attending the launch and made the point that, as well as defending the Crown network, our campaign must also focus on the need to support sub-post offices and postmasters as well – among whom the CWU has several hundred members.

“Although the 74 under-threat Crowns are the focal points at this time, there are around 11,500 sub-post offices across the UK and our Royal Mail members deliver and collect form them every day,” he pointed out.

“When Labour comes to power, they will re-merge the Post Office and Royal Mail in public ownership – but we have to make sure that there is a Post Office and so this campaign has to succeed.”

Concluding his speech, Andy urged members: “Let’s be upbeat.

“It’s a struggle – it’s tough – but we ‘ain’t gonna roll over.”

A ‘Q&A’ session followed, with dozens of contributions, questions and enthusiastic suggestions and then the event broke into regional planning groups.

The second half of the launch heard reports back from every region of the union, each one explaining the situation within their own patch and setting out their respective 1st December Day of Action plans.

All workplace reps are being asked to take the Save Our Post Office petition around their respective units, and where under-threat Crowns are located in high streets and city or town centres, it was suggested that local shops could be asked to display our campaign posters.

In London, activists will focus on several under-threat Crowns, particularly the high-profile Trafalgar Square office, while city-centre actions are also to take place Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh.

December 1st protests are planned for Aberdeen, Crawley, Nottingham, Chester, Basingstoke, York, and Bristol – with further events in other localities being discussed and organised as well.

CWU head of comms Chris Webb, who is helping to co-ordinate the activities, said: “There are going to be lots of different December 1st events and activities and please keep checking on all the union’s media channels for the latest updates, take the petition round at work if you can, and get in touch with your branch and region for further news.

“Yesterday was a really positive launch – now let’s all work together to make Action Day December 1st happen.”