Union Calls For Government Intervention After Strike Vote
Shows Post Office In Crisis
Members of the CWU in the Post Office have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action following a series of announcements this year of cuts to jobs, services and staff pensions.
The union has warned that the Post Office is on the path to extinction and has said the government must now intervene to avoid strike action.
Following the 83.2% vote for industrial action, the General Secretary of the CWU Dave Ward said:
“Staff in the Post Office face 2,000 job losses this year, the closure of their pension scheme and a strategy of slash and burn from the board of the company. The Post Office is at crisis point and the government has to step in.
Referring to seperation of Royal Mail and the Post Office, he added:
“The government separated the Post Office from Royal Mail and declared it would be safe in public hands. In reality we have seen public funding being withdrawn, falling from £210m in 2013 to £80m this year, and a complete failure from the board to grow its revenues to make up for this. Staff and customers are the ones who are paying the cost.”
In conclusion Dave said:
“We have a very simple demand. The government has to step in, convene a summit of key stakeholders and hammer out with us and the board a strategy that will give the Post Office a future. It cannot wash its hands of this and simply stand by as a national institution goes under. Just as we have seen with Tata steel, this is another clear example of the government having no plan whatsoever to stand up for British industry.”
Adding to the call for government action,
CWU Deputy General Secretary (Postal) Terry Pullinger said:
“what we are experiencing is a massive attack on one of this country’s great institutions, which is crucial to communities up and down this country, as a consequence of being left for dead by Post Office management and the Government.”
“What is needed is product imagination, investment and inspired thinking which we believe can ensure that the Post Office remains a fundamental community and national asset.
The strength of feeling demonstrated by this ballot result should not be used as a standalone measure of our determination to lobby for a change of direction and protect the service and our loyal members because we are absolutely confident that our members have massive support from the public we serve."
Terry made it very clear that:
“No one should underestimate our determination to ensure that this is not another British institution which is only spoken about in an historical context. It is and must remain part of this country’s future infrastructure.”
Writing in a letter to all branches with Post Office CWU members, to announce the results of the ballot, the Union said:
Our objective going forward is to reach a fair and reasonable agreement therefore we will be writing to Paula Vennells, Chief Executive, urging her to authorise a negotiating team led by a senior Director to enter into talks as a priority .
It is essential the Post Office provides formal confirmation that they are prepared to enter into meaningful negotiations.