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Post Office staff in Devon and Cornwall to strike today in row over closures

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 31, 2013

By Toby Meyjes

PostOffice
Comments (9)

Dozens of staff at the Westcountry's biggest post offices are due to go on strike today in a row over jobs, pay and closures.

Members of the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) at 16 Crown offices in Devon and Cornwall will walk out at plans to close or franchise 76 sites nationwide.

Services in Cornwall, Camborne, Penzance, Redruth, St Austell, Truro, Liskeard and Newquay will be affected. In Devon, union members at City of Exeter, Exmouth, Honiton, Paignton, Teignmouth, Barnstaple, Bideford and Plymouth-based Mutley and St Andrew's Cross will strike.

The union said hundreds of jobs will be affected by the proposals, which it warned could cause further problems for struggling high streets already suffering from shop closures. The CWU added that staff had not received a pay rise for two years.

The Post Office said Crown branches were losing £40 million a year and accused the union of ignoring the "harsh realities" the company faces.

Picket lines will be mounted outside the post offices, while customers will be urged to back the union's campaign.

Dave Ward, the CWU's deputy general secretary, said: "Our post office members are standing up against destructive plans which would slash 20% of the Crown network and are simply asking for fair treatment and job security.

"The Post Office's plans are short-sighted and would rob the network of the most productive offices, while simultaneously putting hundreds of jobs at risk and potentially damaging local economies. We'd like to see a better vision for a successful network which maintains services in the heart of communities alongside quality jobs. We're confident this could be achieved if Post Office management would agree to negotiations."

Crown post offices are run directly by the Post Office and handle 20 per cent of all Post Office business, but the strike action will only affect 3 per cent of branches.

Kevin Gilliland, network and sales director at the Post Office, said: "We regret any disruption to services the CWU's call for strike action may cause to customers. Crown branches are currently losing £40 million per year and this is being subsidised by public money. This cannot continue. The Post Office is transforming its network to improve customer experience and in turn bring in new business. We are committed to the Post Office remaining a key part of UK high streets and our plans ensure this will happen."

He added: "Our pay offer remains unchanged. We want to make the first payment of up to £1,400 as quickly as possible. The unrealistic demands and call for strike action being made by the CWU will only delay how quickly this will be received into our people's pay packets."

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9 comments

  • 34Eric  |  April 02 2013, 10:34PM

    Why go on about delivery staff in a article about Crown Offices on strike?

    |   1
  • CottonFresh  |  March 31 2013, 3:09AM

    Hang on a minute ! aren't postmen doing the same job as paper boys but with nice paypackets and a union? your not brain surgeons! you haven't trained to be a postie! if you don't like it stack shelves! i for one get my post when the postie feels like it! i had one put a "sorry we missed you card" thru my letterbox as i was sat a foot away ! when i asked him for my package he had left it at the sorting office! how awkward for him? yes i complained and got some free stamps! waheey! you posties seem to think your a emergency service or something! your not! your well paid paper boys!

    |   -1
  • FoneyTony  |  March 30 2013, 7:57PM

    All those who have experienced either the French, German and Spanish postal systems will tell you that they are a lot more efficient and better run services then our soviet collective style Royal Mail. They even do customer service. Customer service in a postal system, just think of that Nick. And P.S. Nick, they all do doorstep deliveries, in fact, even 3rd world countries do doorstop deliveries. Your left wing scare tactics don't scare anyone.

    |   -2
  • nickthompson  |  March 30 2013, 7:42PM

    FoneyTony Saturday, March 30 2013, 10:14AM . "Do you really think anyone will notice the difference between post office staff on strike and over unionised, over pampered post office staff working deep within their restrictive practices as normal. Can anyone spot the difference.-----------You will when OUR Royal Mail is privatised, and we all know how all the previous privatisations have worked out for us in terms of cost etc, When the mail service is owned by a French, German, or Spanish muti-national we will be paying £3 + for a stamp, and it will be goodbye to doorstep deliveries, collect your mail from a central collection point.

    |   2
  • FoneyTony  |  March 30 2013, 10:28AM

    Less of your mail goes missing?

    |   -3
  • FoneyTony  |  March 30 2013, 10:14AM

    Do you really think anyone will notice the difference between post office staff on strike and over unionised, over pampered post office staff working deep within their restrictive practices as normal. Can anyone spot the difference.

    |   1
  • sammyhames  |  March 30 2013, 9:39AM

    Yeah good idea, walk out and strike. I am sure your boss will reward you with a job for not doing your job..Yet more clever devonian thinking.

    |   -5
  • PaigntnPeople  |  March 30 2013, 8:08AM

    Staff at Paignton's Post Office will be on strike today in the row over jobs, pay and closures.

    |   3
  • ExmouthPeople  |  March 30 2013, 8:01AM

    Staff at Exmouth's Post Office on Chapel Street will be on strike today in the row over jobs,.pay and closures. More details here: http://tinyurl.com/bnu2eof

    |   1

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