Eastbourne Post Office workers to strike next week

Workers at the Terminus Road Post Office in Eastbourne are set to strike on three days in the run-up to Christmas.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 3:16 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 10:06 am
The Post Office in Terminus Road SUS-161216-145618001

The Communication Worker’s Union has called for strike action on Monday (December 19), Tuesday (December 20) and Saturday(December 24) in five branches across East Sussex.

These include: Terminus Road, Eastbourne; Devonshire Square, Bexhill; London Road, St Leonards; Melville Road, Hove; and Newhaven High Street.

Despite this, the Post Office is reassuring customers that services will not be impacted at other branches in the area, and all Post Office branches will be open on December 21, 22, and 23.

The Post Office said that it is too soon to say if services will be affected at the five branches where strike action has been called, but other Post Offices in the area will be open for business as usual as they are not involved in the industrial action.

The CWU has also called industrial action in the Post Office’s supply chain on December 22 and 23 but the company says that contingency arrangements will ensure, as they have during previous strike action this month, that all branches have the cash and stock they need to operate.

The workers are striking after talks broke down over branch closures, pensions, and job losses.

In Eastbourne the strike is believed to be connected to the recent announcement that the Terminus Road store is to move to WH Smith.

Kevin Gilliland, Post Office’s Network and Sales Director, said, “We want to reassure customers that if strike action takes place next week at least 97 per cent of our 11,600 branches will not be involved. Our priority will be to support them.

“Experience tells us we can manage this effectively and minimise the impact on the communities who rely on our services.

“Any action will affect fewer than 300 of our branches across the UK, and many of these will be open to maintain services for customers preparing for Christmas.

“It will be business as usual in almost all of our network, with over 50,000 Post Office people on hand to support customers as they make their preparations for Christmas.”

He added that the Post Office plays a vital role in communities all over the UK and the changes it is making support its commitment to keeping these services widely available into the future.

“Our progress is clear – over the last four years, we’ve dramatically reduced our losses and need for government subsidy, at the same time as modernising nearly 7,000 post offices, adding more than 200,000 extra opening hours each week, and becoming the largest UK retailer open on a Sunday,” he said.

The strike action called by CWU does not involve Royal Mail employees. Royal Mail has informed the Post Office that it has robust contingency plans in place and expects that there will be little effect on the services it provides.