Socialist Worker

Time is ticking for Post Office chiefs as workers set to deliver package of strikes

Issue No. 2527

Around 3,500 Post Office workers in the CWU union are set to strike on Monday of next week.

The workers in Crown offices (the main high street offices), admin and the supply chain are fighting over pensions, jobs—and the future of the network.

At present there are 310 Crown offices but 80 could be lost from the public network.

Four are set to close, 60 to be privatised and 16 are to move into a retailer under a “hosting” arrangement.

“The stakes have never been higher for the Post Office, its workers and the communities they serve,” said CWU general secretary Dave Ward. “Staff and the public are seeing little more than a glorified closure programme from the Post Office and it cannot survive by simply cutting costs.

Dave Ward

Dave Ward (Pic: Guy Smallman)

“We are calling for the government as the owner of the Post Office to step in, halt the cuts and work with us to develop a proper strategy that will secure the future of the service.”

A strike over the same issues in September was very well supported.

Subsequently, three meetings have been held with management at the Acas conciliation service. But nothing has changed.

Assistant CWU secretary Andy Furey said that the attack on members’ pensions could see their retirement income cut “by an average of 30 percent” even though the scheme under assault is in surplus.

Furey added that the “direct benefit scheme had recently been described by auditors as the financially healthiest scheme of its type in the country”.

Cwu members in Luton on the picket line last Wednesday

Cwu members in Luton on the picket line last Wednesday (Pic: CWU)

Post workers force bosses back in Luton

A planned strike by postal workers in Luton and Leagrave delivery offices on Thursday of this week was called off after bosses backed down.

Around 250 workers had struck on Wednesday of last week in a row over disciplinaries.

Neal Kidwell is secretary of the Eastern No 6 CWU union branch that covers the area.

He told Socialist Worker, “Royal Mail has climbed down. People who were suspended and moved to another office have been reinstated.

“It’s also been agreed that Royal Mail will look at the walks and workload.

“Without the action, they wouldn’t have conceded.”

The strike last week was well supported.

Neal said, “Nobody crossed the picket line. We had a succession of people turning up with mail who turned around.

“Because of that, drivers were sent home without pay.

“We’re really grateful to them for supporting us.”

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