Some 500 Post Office staff across 34 offices in Greater Manchester and South West Wales are being balloted for strikes over the franchising out of Crown office services to WH Smith.
CWU union assistant secretary Andy Furey said, “Our members are deeply unhappy over the continuing downgrading of the service and are particularly alarmed at the emerging partnership between Post Office Ltd and WH Smith.
“Valuable public services and skilled staff are being lost to retailers who refuse to take on Post Office employees. WH Smith has no history of providing the sort of services that the Post Office supplies.
“We are encouraging local residents to boycott WH Smith to force them to pull out of these unpopular franchise agreements which will lead to the loss of over 124 highly trained Post Office staff.”
A national day of protest against WH Smith has been organised for this Saturday.
Over 25 Crown Offices across the Greater Manchester area are affected and workers are protesting against the closure of offices in Chorlton, Ashton and Altrincham, Cheshire, whose services will be franchised to WH Smith.
Greater Manchester CWU branch secretary Jim McNicholls said, “If we don’t act now there won’t be a Post Office network left to save. Over 60 jobs have been lost here in the last few weeks alone.”
Some 93 members from seven Crown Offices across South West Wales are being balloted in response to the decision to close offices in Swansea and Llanelli and to franchise out the services in Swansea to WH Smith.