Socialist Worker

Postal Workers

Issue No. 1931

Crown Post Offices

Counter staff in the CWU union at over 300 Crown post offices are balloting for official strike action this week. The ballot is part of a national dispute over Christmas Eve opening hours.

The traditional Christmas Eve finishing time is 12.30pm. However, Scrooge-like Post Office executives are insisting that branch offices should remain open until 4pm this year.

Christmas is the season when counter and post shop clerks work harder than ever, providing a vitally important service to the public and making massive profits for the Post Office.

Management claims that extended opening hours will attract banking transfers and help benefit claimants.

But if the Post Office really cared about their customers, they would not have announced plans to shut half the Crown post office network. And they would have pressured the government to allow claimants to collect their benefits earlier in the week.

Every branch must campaign all out for an overwhelming vote for action—showing our determination to bring the Post Office management back from the spirit of Christmas past and into the present.
Gary Watts

Action round-up

POSTAL WORKERS were planning to strike in Preston on Friday and Saturday of this week, and Monday of next week.

It is a further stage in their campaign to get around £800 each they are owed in productivity bonuses.

In Northampton postal workers suspended strikes last week after management offered concessions over £26.28 a week bonuses linked to productivity targets.

Lee Barron, branch secretary of the Northamptonshire CWU union branch, said, “We have made progress, but at the start of this week not everyone had got all the money.

“A fire last year at the main office in Northampton resulted in the workforce being split between two delivery offices.

“As a result of our strike plans one office has now been awarded the full £26.28 a week bonus. The other has been offered £20.

“A further £5 is self financing from previous bonuses and will also be available. So still at issue is the remaining £1.28.

“We have been assured that agreement can be reached this week. If it is not then our strike will be back on.”

In Woodford Green, east London, workers struck spontaneously for four hours on Saturday over workloads.

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Article information

Sat 11 Dec 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1931
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