UK Post Office strike imminent

Unite the Union Post Office workers have voted for industrial action over proposed plans to close the final salary pension scheme.

Unite have released a statement saying that of those taking part in the ballot, 64.3% supported the strike action with 78% supporting industrial action short of a strike. It is estimated that 3500 staff will be affected by the proposed pension scheme closure.

Under the defined contribution scheme that will begin from next April, Unite estimates that staff will lose around 30% of their retirement income compared to what they would have received under the old scheme.

Brian Scott, the Unite officer for members in the Post Office, said: “This strong vote in favour of industrial action should send a clear message to the Post Office that it has got it wrong over its decision to close the pension scheme.

“The Post Office’s executive team and the board need to reflect on the closure of a scheme which is currently £100 million in surplus and the anger it is causing among a workforce which is also facing a large number of job losses.”

Scott added: “Unite will now be considering its next steps but believes that the clear mandate is a call for industrial action in the near future should the Post Office’s leadership team fail to reconsider.”

Pensions are one of the most expensive parts of national postal and mail operators’ operations. The US and Canadian operations are also scratching their collective heads on how to tackle their deficits and Canada Post has met resistance from its own workers lately.