Post Office workers set for two more one-day strikes

From BBC News:

Post Office sign
Two strike days are set for later this month

Post Office workers are set to go on strike for two days later this month.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) has served notice for strike actions on Thursday 20 June and Saturday 29 June.

The union said the stoppages are in response to the ongoing dispute over closures, job security and pay.

Talks between the union and management have stalled, and the CWU is calling for chief executive Paula Vennells to become directly involved in resolving the dispute.

The strike days, affecting 4,000 staff, will be the sixth and seventh one-day strikes since Easter.

The Post Office wants to close or franchise 76 Crown offices, and cut up to 1,500 jobs.

The Crown offices only make up about 3% of the total post offices across the country, but handle 40% of the financial services and a fifth of all customers.

‘No new offers’

The CWU said that staff at 373 Crown offices have not had a pay rise in more than two years, while workers at other post offices received two pay rises worth 6.75% over the same period.

“We’ve had informal talks this week, which allowed a good exchange of views and discussion on various options, but there’s no change, no new offers and no movement from the Post Office,” said Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary.

“It’s time that Paula Vennells got her hands dirty and engaged with this dispute, which affects the Post Office network’s biggest branches.

“It’s no good hiding in the shadows and hoping we’ll go away.”

The Post Office is offering three cash payments of between £1,000 to £1,400 each to be made over to workers over the next three years, provided the Crown offices hit certain “transformational” financial targets.

The Crown offices made a £46m loss last year and is effectively being subsidised by the UK taxpayer.

The Post Office said its pay offer remains unchanged, and is fair and affordable at a time when the Crown network is loss making.

Kevin Gilliland, Network and Sales Director at the Post Office said: “We are disappointed at the CWU’s decision to call further strike action. This can only cause disruption to customers and cost our people money.”

“We remain open to discussions with the CWU on pay options which do not add to the current loss of public money,” he added.

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