The Post Office managers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will be joining with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in targeting the 300 Crown Offices on what is believed to be the busiest day of the year when people send cards and parcels to relatives and friends outside the UK.
The strike is the latest chapter over the management’s intransigence in refusing to reconsider the closure of the defined salary pension scheme at the end of March 2017.
Unite and CWU are very concerned about the lack of a future coherent business strategy by the top bosses and support the call for a Postbank to be established at the Post Office.
Commenting on Saturday’s planned action, Unite officer for the Post Office Brian Scott said: “We are taking this action because the management refuses to talk in a constructive manner about the pension scheme which is currently in surplus to more than £143 million. “This is the retirement income of our members which is at stake and we are not going to stand idly by and let them lose thousands of pounds when they retire.
“More generally, it appears that it is only the unions that care about the future viability of the Post Office and the services it provides for communities across the UK.
“The management seems to have abdicated its responsibility and as the government ultimately owns the Post Office we call, once again, for junior business minister Margot James to order an investigation into the Post Office’s future and what we consider is a catalogue of managerial incompetence.”
The dispute affects 3,500 Post Office staff working in Crown post offices, admin and supply chain roles across the UK. Strike action was strongly supported on 15 September and 31st October. CWU members were joined by Post Office managers who are members of Unite. Three meetings have taken place at ACAS but no meaningful progress was made, with the Post Office unwilling to move on any of the key issues.
Dave Ward, CWU general secretary, said: “The stakes have never been higher for the future of the Post Office, its workers and the communities they serve. The Post Office is at crisis point and the management and government need to listen to the workforce.
“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. 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.”