Responding to the Post Office’s announcement on Tuesday that it is actively seeking ‘retail partners’ for 70 Crown Post Offices, the Communication Workers Union says this is a deeply unpopular and flawed plan which would rip the heart out of the network.
- Tens of thousands of people have already signed petitions opposed to closure and franchise of Crown post offices
- Politicians, businesses, councils and local campaigners are opposed to closure and franchise plans
- Boycotts of companies taking over franchises have been threatened
- Crown post offices are the powerhouse of the network
- There are 373 Crown offices – making them just 3% of the network, but they do 20% of all business with four million customers every week
- Crowns do 40% of all financial services sales, a crucial growth area for Post Office business with the launch of a current account
- Closure and franchise proposals will slash 20% of the remaining Crown network and affect over 800 jobs
Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: “This is a seminal moment for the Post Office. Closure and franchising plans would decimate the remaining Crown network, slashing it by over 20%.
“Ultimately, this is about cost cutting and that’s where the government comes in. They want to reduce the amount of money provided for Post Office services and these cuts are leading to deeply unpopular proposals to close Crown post offices and remove services from High Streets.
“It’s time to decide what you want from the Post Office. Customers, communities and workers are very clearly saying that they want to keep these very well-used Crown post offices in their dedicated premises in town centres. Local councils are being pro-active and coming forwards offering positive ways to bring premises costs down and as a union we also have suggestions to address costs.
“We challenge the Post Office to jointly explore alternatives to retain Crown offices before ploughing ahead and flogging these cherished offices.”
CWU members voted by nine to one (88%) in favour of strike action on a 75% turnout on 8th March 2013 – rejecting the Post Office plans to close and/or franchise 76 offices.