Communication Workers Union fights plan to close Crown Post Offices

For immediate release

19th January 2016

Communication Workers Union fights plan to close Crown Post Offices

The Communication Workers Union is fighting plans revealed today (19 January) by Post Office Ltd to close more Crown offices, impacting on up to 1,000 jobs and condemning the service to decline.

Under the banner “Protect the People’s Post Office,” the CWU will campaign vigorously against the proposal, which puts up to 100 Crown offices under threat and chases profit from a public service. This would result in the Crown network being halved in ten years, with around 220 Crown offices remaining. The union will be consulting its members on what action to take to defend these jobs.

The union said today’s announcement confirms that the Government is attempting to privatise the Post Office and continuing its agenda for destroying the service by diminishing its high street presence and taking away services instead of embracing opportunities for new revenue streams.

The CWU is pushing for post office services to return to Royal Mail and for the Post Office to be an independent People’s bank and not have its banking services tied to its partnership with Bank of Ireland UK.

CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said: “This is devastating news for our members. It is death by a thousand cuts. The proposals disregard the wealth of expertise, experience and sense of pride in public duty which is shared by Crown post office employees – and seriously, why would anyone wish to be TUPEd from the Post Office to WH Smith, for example, who are likely to take on many of the franchises?

“Post Office Ltd should never have been separated from Royal Mail. It should be developing services with Royal Mail and Crown post offices should be a one-stop shop for mail, banking, financial and retail services. This trusted public service is being destroyed by lack of imagination and a dash for cash when what it needs is innovation.

“Downgrading the Crown offices is blatant privatisation and the Post Office is getting away with not going to Parliament for discussion on this by MPs. The Post Office is publically owned, so presumably the Government has approved this.

“The closure of Crown post offices will have negative economic and social effects on high streets – even if moved just 500 yards into the back of a newsagent – with the businesses left behind suffering and the area going into decline. The only thing driving this move is cuts to make profit.”

Terry Pullinger, CWU Deputy General Secretary (Postal), said:”Tragically, this is yet another horrendous example of broken promises, irresponsible government and chronic mismanagement by the Post Office, the Post Office should never have been split from Royal Mail – natural synergies and public services have been sacrificed for greed and profit.

“The people of this country need to be made aware of these plans and the fact that the government and the Post office have no future ambition for the Post Office network. The whole of the CWU stands united behind our Crown Office members, in defence of jobs and the future of the network – and to bring all of the People’s Post back together.”


  • The Post Office is today announcing the locations of 39 Crown post offices to be affected. Up to 50 more Crown offices are earmarked to be franchised in the next two years.
  • In addition, the Post Office confirmed the following three Crown Post office closures: Shaftesbury Square, Belfast; Antrim; and Barry in South Wales.

For interviews contact:

Dawn Chamarette, CWU Press Officer 07793 314 249