Post Office workers call fifth strike since Easter

Union boss cites 'growing unrest' among employees

Post Office workers are to strike for the fifth time since Easter to demonstrate against “deeply unpopular” proposals that will see 70 high street branches closed.

Employees at the Post Office’s “Crown” branches will cease work on Tuesday, May 28 in protest against the planned closures, which could affect up to 800 jobs across the country.

The strike action will occur across 373 stores and could be observed by 4,000 staff, after union members voted nine to one in favour of strike action. Strike action has already been observed on March 30, April 19, April 29 and May 7 of this year.

Dave Ward, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said that strike action had to happen to deal with the “growing unrest” among employees. “It's time that management responded to workers' concerns. There is massive public opposition to the closure and franchise plans and Post Office management have had to admit that their figures on our pay claim were wrong. They cannot continue to plough blindly ahead with deeply unpopular and unnecessary plans.”

The Post Office responded with disappointment at the CWU’s decision.

Kevin Gilliland, Network and Sales Director at the Post Office said that every hour of strike action causes a serious disruption in service for customers and a loss of profit.

Gilliland said: “We want to end this dispute, but we must also ensure that our high street branches do not fail in the future.”

The Post Office has also challenged claims made by CWU that its cash payments are linked to unreachable transformation targets, arguing that its future targets are achievable and will be shared with the union.

Support for strike action is increasing every day, said Ward, who thanked customers, politicians and local communities for their support. Ward added:  “We're fighting to protect Post Office jobs and services which are clearly valued. We still believe a common way forward can be found, but it needs Post Office management to focus on a joint resolution, rather than sticking blindly to their flawed plans and throwing money at sending managers out to cover strike days.“

The CWU say that talks have been held during the last week and no progress had been made over major issues, leaving them with “little option” other than to serve notice for more strike action. They did score a minor victory however, by securing an extra £100 payment for union members during their last meeting.

CWU also cite their choice of action as related to outstanding issues over pay, arguing that the closing and franchising plans are meeting stiff opposition across the country. This, they say, is evidenced by the petitions and opposition voiced in public meetings.

The Post Office currently operates a national network of over 11,800 branches, serving 20 million customers a week. In a statement, the Post Office stressed that the branches selected for potential closure are “not a reflection in any way on abilities of the hard working colleagues who work in these branches.”

Additional reporting by PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing