CWU ballots Post Office workers for strike action

The Communications Workers Union is to ballot Post Office workers on strike action. Members of the union who work in Crown Post Offices, supply chain depots and admin sites will be balloted from Monday 1 August and the result will be announced on the 19th August.

In a statement the CWU said, “The ballot is in reaction to the company’s plans for wholesale privatisation of the crown network and widespread job losses – with 80 Crown post offices announced for closure already this year and up to 2,000 job losses planned across the business – in addition to the company’s decision to close the defined benefit pension scheme. The planned closures will reduce the crown post office network to around 230 offices.”

In response, the Post Office has said that it was disappointed by the CWU’s decision to ballot.

In a statement the Post Office said that it “wanted to work constructively with its unions as it continues to make vital changes to protect Post Office services for customers for years to come” – and it urged CWU to meet at ACAS to resolve the dispute.

It added that it has had to make changes in order to “ensure the business’s financial sustainability”, but it “understands that some of these changes are difficult for those affected by them”.

The Post Office also sought to “reassure” its customers that “no strike action has been called and that should any action take place it has contingency plans to minimise disruption to customer service”. It also stated that: “Postmasters and their teams working in 97% of the Post Office’s 11,600 branches will not be part of any ballot for strike action.”

The statement from the Post Office concluded with Kevin Gilliland, Post Office Network and Sales Director, saying “We will give serious consideration to any ideas that the CWU put forward to help us create the Post Office network our customers need for the future and urge them to work in partnership with us to secure the future of our services.”