Post Office Ltd facing strike action this week

Post Office Ltd facing strike action this week

Britain’s Post Office is facing possible strike action later this week, in the middle of the pre-Christmas rush. The Communication Workers Union served a formal notice for industrial action on Friday, opposing proposed job cuts among staff who collect, handle and distribute cash for the state-owned company.

The union said a proposal for 28% of Admin and Supply Chain staff to lose their jobs was on the table, including the threat of compulsory lay-offs.

Friday’s strike notice followed two rounds of talks with Post Office Ltd last week, mediated by the government’s Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), and one meeting on Thursday outside of ACAS.

The CWU said talks are due to continue today, but a 24-hour strike will take place on 12 December if no agreement comes.


“We are continuing talks with Post Office management on Monday at ACAS. We hope there will be a real and significant breakthrough in order to avoid strike action next week. The onus is on the Post Office to move its position to make this happen,” said Dave Ward, the CWU deputy general secretary, adding that the proposal for 28% job cuts was “unacceptable”.

“Post Office management is out of touch with its staff and customers if it thinks it would be able to continue its current service levels with such a significant loss. These threats of compulsory redundancies from Post Office management towards Admin and Supply Chain workers are deplorable and place huge amounts of stress on already vulnerable workers. The workforce has made a major contribution to the company’s success and have every right to their fair share.”

Post Office Ltd operates the network of 11,500 post offices across the UK, although most of the post offices themselves are run by franchisees and subpostmasters.

The company’s turnover fell 1.7% year-on-year in the first half of this year, with the loss of government services business and a drop in telecoms revenue, while operating profit fell 56.6% compared to last year’s first half.

Chief executive Paula Vennells said at the end of November that her company had to continue trimming costs during the “biggest modernisation programme in UK retail history”, in order to reduce reliance on government subsidies.

The CWU’s Admin and Supply Chain members last month voted 76% in favour of taking industrial action over their dispute with Post Office Ltd.

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