Post Office workers are going on strike as the CWU demands government steps in over job losses

 
Emma Haslett
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The Post Office in Newton-le-Willows, La...
Workers called on (Source: Getty)

Another day, and another strike has been announced - this time by Post Office workers, who have voted to go on strike over job losses.

In a statement today the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) said 83.2 per cent of those balloted had voted for industrial action to protest against cost-cutting measures.

“Staff in the Post Office face 2,000 job losses this year, the closure of their pension scheme and a strategy of slash and burn from the board of the company," said Dave Ward, general secretary of the CWU.

“We have a very simple demand. The government has to step in, convene a summit of key stakeholders and hammer out with us and the board a strategy that will give the Post Office a future.

"It cannot wash its hands of this and simply stand by as a national institution goes under. Just as we have seen with Tata Steel, this is another clear example of the government having no plan whatsoever to stand up for British industry.”

But the Post office's Kevin Gilliland hit back, saying it will continue to modernise.

“We halved our losses in 2015/16 and are making steady progress in ensuring our business is simpler to run, reducing costs to the taxpayer whilst at the same time modernising our network of over 11,600 branches, which is now at its most stable for decades.

“All of our proposals are taken forward with the utmost care for the people they affect and we’re proud of our track record in supporting people through difficult changes. The CWU’s threat of industrial action can only unsettle customers and employees.

“We will give serious consideration to any ideas that our unions put forward to help us create the Post Office network that our customers need for the future, and urge them to continue to work with us. We are happy to talk and continue to invite the CWU to join us at the negotiating table.

However, a spokesperson from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy told City A.M. it was unlikely to intervene.

"This is an operational matter for [the] Post Office. As its annual accounts show there has been a continuing improvement in Post Office’s financial performance, and a reduced reliance on taxpayer support.

“Our investment has led to the most stable network for decades, 200,000 extra opening hours a week and more than 3,500 branches open on Sundays.”

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