The transfer of 39 Crown Post Offices to private sector organisations, such as WH Smith, will hit services to customers, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Tuesday 19 January).
Unite expressed anger at the announcement by the Post Office to transfer a further 39 Crown Offices out of a total of 320 to private companies, such as WH Smith, and to close three more branches in Shaftesbury Square, Belfast; Antrim in Northern Ireland; and Barry in south Wales.
Unite officer for the Post Office, Brian Scott said: "This announcement by the Post Office is a slap in the face for Unite members who have worked extremely hard over the last few years to eradicate losses.
“Unite members have not shirked from the challenges that they have faced and in return the Post Office has announced plans, developed in secrecy, to off load more Crown branches.
“The people of Belfast, Antrim and Barry will be quite rightly angered by this news that their Crown Post Office will close.
“What the management has failed to realise is that the Post Office is a public service and should not be hived off to the private sector for whom profit is the prime motive.
“WH Smith is the only private sector company that the Post Office has announced so far, but we have been told that other private firms will be taking over the other Crown sites.
“These changes will reduce the quality and range of services to the public and could lead to job losses, as more and detrimental cost-cutting is embarked on.
“The problem is that it now transpires that the senior management of the Post Office has failed. They should accept responsibility for this failure and do the right thing by stepping aside.
“Unite will campaign against these changes including lobbying the responsible minister for the Post Office, Baroness Neville-Rolfe and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland and Wales to seek a review of this decision."
Unite represents about 800 managers and supervisors in the Post Office; half of which work for the Crown network. It is estimated that 46 Unite members could be affected by the latest tranche of transfers.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.