Post Office Crown Office Network Franchising Update - CWU Statement
The Post Office has today (5th July) announced the second “Tranche” of Crown Post Offices to be privatised to retail partners. In Tranche 2 there are 20 Crowns in total, impacting upon at least 150 jobs. This 20 is in addition to the 39 Crowns previously announced for franchising in January. The list is as follows:
Writing to all CWU's postal branches Dave Ward General Secretary of the union, in a letter to branches (LTB403/16) also signed by Acting Deputy General Secretary (Postal) Ray Ellis and Andy Furey Assistant Secretary he said:
"This announcement will obviously be devastating news to the members in the affected Crowns; it is an outrageous decision with no substance or business case to back up the policy except that the Post Office is looking to save more money and make more profit.
This news comes at a time when the Post Office should be looking to invest in the Crown Network to secure a future for the Post Office as a whole, rather than relying on a tired old cost cutting strategy.
We understand the Post Office is planning a third Tranche of franchising later this year - at this rate there will be no Crown Network left in a few years time."
Referring to the CWU Conference policy, he continued:
"The Post Office will be fully aware this further Tranche of franchising flies completely in the face of the sentiment and key objectives behind our conference policy as determined by the carriage of Emergency Motion E3. The following paragraph specifically relates to the Crown Office Network:
“2) Crown Office Network - we must bring to an end the totally unjustifiable attack on Crown Offices through the incessant Franchising/closure model which is nothing more than Privatisation. The Crown Network must feature in the Post Office's vision for the future and as such be an integral part of the overall network with a long-term future, thus ensuring job security.”
Dave conitnued by making it clear that the decision by the Post Office could lead to industrial action:
"It follows that the Post Office is not serious in wanting to establish a mutually beneficial Agreement regarding the future of the Crown Network. Accordingly, the actions of the Post Office must be viewed as extreme provocation. Our members deserve a decent future working in the Crown Network. Therefore this Union cannot allow the Post Office to systematically destroy our Crown Office Network.
This announcement makes an Industrial Action ballot more difficult to avoid as the Post Office has effectively thrown down the gauntlet by continuing to not listen to our strong representations."
LTB 403/16 concludes:
"As a consequence of Post Office plans to systematically dismantle the Post Office, we are meeting with Sajid Javid the Cabinet Minister responsible on Monday 11th July.
Dave Ward, General Secretary and Andy Furey, Assistant Secretary will be making it abundantly clear to the Minister that this Union and its members are demanding a real vision for the future which entails investment, growth and jobs.
Our strong message to the Minister will be that we will not tolerate the Post Office being driven into oblivion by crass management decisions that impact so dreadfully upon our members’ future."