Thousands of Post Office workers are to stage a 24-hour strike in disputes over branch closures, jobs and pensions.
Members of the Communication Workers Union will walk out on September 15 after voting overwhelmingly for industrial action.
The union warned of an ongoing dispute over jobs, services and pensions, saying the Post Office was at a crisis point.
Dave Ward, general secretary of the CWU said: “The Post Office is relentlessly pursuing a programme of cuts that will mean a further 2,000 job losses, staff being left tens of thousands of pounds worse off in retirement and the privatisation of its flagship branches.
“The Post Office is at crisis point and the Government has to step in.
“We are making a simple demand. The Government needs to pause the cuts, convene a summit of key stakeholders in the industry and work out a strategy that gives employees and the public confidence that the Post Office has a future.
“The Post Office has pointed to the bottom line in making these cuts, but it cannot pretend that using public money to pay off staff so they can be replaced with part-time jobs on the minimum wage is a success story or that closing down its flagship branches is a defence of the service.
“The Post Office has got to get out of the cycle of closures, job losses and attacks on staff terms and conditions. It needs a serious plan to grow revenues in areas like financial services.
“Other countries have brought in hugely successful Post Banks. There is no reason why our Post Office should be the world leader in managed decline.”
Of the 11,600 branches however, only 300 will be affected by the strike action, according to the Post Office.
Network and Sales Director Kevin Gilliland said: We halved our losses in 2015/16 and are making steady progress to reduce costs to the taxpayer by making our business simpler to run and modernising our network, which is now at its most stable for decades.
The business’s financial position is improving but we remain loss making. Based on the advice of our Actuary, the fund’s surplus, which is currently being used to help subsidise the cost of the pension plan, will run out in 2017.
Once this happens, the costs to the business of meeting existing commitments will significantly increase, and this is not sustainable. We therefore need to close the plan to future accrual when the surplus runs out, because it is crucial that we safeguard the benefits that members have already built up.
We’ve done what we can following consultation and having taken further advice from our Actuary, to make changes to what we are proposing to try to lessen the impact on individuals. We are clear that our recommendation is the responsible thing to do both for members of the plan, and for the long term financial health of the business. It is currently being considered by the Trustee.
News Source MirrorNews