Staff at post office are set to strike today

Eastbourne main Post Office Langney Road. April 17th 2013 E16198P
Eastbourne main Post Office Langney Road. April 17th 2013 E16198P

Staff at Eastbourne’s main post office are staging a walk out this afternoon.

Employees at the branch known as the Terminus Road Post Office will have the chance to strike from 2.30pm until the close of business.

The half-day of industrial action affects all Crown post offices, those owned directly by the Post Office.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said the strike is in opposition to Post Office plans to close or franchise more than 70 Crown offices.

The union also wants to secure a fair pay increase for counter staff who have had no pay rise since April 2011.

Mole Meade, CWU area representative for the south east, said, “We are a 350-year-old public service and the last stop for many people. We are only striking for half a day so it does not have a detrimental effect on customers. Our dispute is with the Post Office, not with customers.

“We don’t want to strike and are hoping the Post Office will get back to the negotiating table.”

Kevin Gilliland, network and sales director at the Post Office, added, “We want to keep Post Office branches on high streets across the UK. We are investing £70 million in 300 Crown branches and are proposing to partner 70 branches with suitable retailers.

“These branches are not closing.

“Any move to a retailer’s premises would offer access to the same range of Post Office products and high levels of customer service in a new modern branch.

“The CWU is in denial of the need for us to modernise our Crown network. It is currently losing £40 million a year of public money.

“There is no room for manoeuvre and further strike action will only cause needless disruption to customers.”