The rush to privatise Britain’s post offices is accelerating even faster - and could lead to a major strike.
The move comes as part of a five year business plan being drawn up by Post Office Limited (POL) managing director Alan Cook.
He is expected to recommend speeding the transfer of Crown Post Offices - some 500 main post offices - from direct operation by POL to franchisees, such as WH Smith.
Workers will then be left on much worse pay and conditions.
The CWU union is demanding that existing staff are transferred to private sector operators on the same terms as before.
Andy Furey, CWU national officer for counters workers, has confirmed that he would ballot his 7,000-strong membership for industrial action over Christmas unless talks delivered an acceptable deal.
This is a big test for the CWU, both industrially and politically.
A strike to defend services would be popular with the public as well as defending CWU members.
And there’s a big political question - shouldn’t the union act more decisively when Labour is ramming through wholesale privatisation of the industry?