Overseas Christmas mail and parcels are set to be disrupted on Saturday (3 December) – the peak day for such international post – when about 720 managers stage a third 24-hour strike in their long-running pensions’ dispute.
The Post Office managers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will be joining with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in targeting the 300 Crown Offices on what is believed to be the busiest day of the year when people send cards and parcels to relatives and friends outside the UK.
The strike, starting at 03.00 on Saturday, is the latest chapter over the management’s intransigence in refusing to reconsider the closure of the defined salary pension scheme at the end of March 2017.
Unite is also very concerned about the lack of a future coherent business strategy by the top bosses and supports the CWU call for a Postbank to be established at the Post Office.
In a letter to the managers, Unite officer for the Post Office Brian Scott said: “This would provide for banking facilities for citizens, communities and businesses of all sizes which would be trusted and accessible on the high street.
“It would make available banking facilities to those that are currently disadvantaged by not having access to a bank account currently. Furthermore, it would secure the Post Office as a viable and sustainable proposition as it has done in other countries across the world.”
Commenting on Saturday’s planned action, Brian Scott said: “We believe that Saturday is the day when most people will be despatching their cards and parcels to their relatives and friends abroad.
“We are taking this action because the management refuses to talk in a constructive manner about the pension scheme which is currently in surplus to more than £143 million.
“This is the retirement income of our members which is at stake and we are not going to stand idly by and let them lose thousands of pounds when they retire.
“More generally, it appears that it is only the unions that care about the future viability of the Post Office and the services it provides for communities across the UK.
“The management seems to have abdicated its responsibility and as the government ultimately owns the Post Office we call, once again, for junior business minister Margot James to order an investigation into the Post Office’s future and what we consider is a catalogue of managerial incompetence.”
Unite’s Post Office managers first took 24 hours of strike action on 15 September and then again on 31 October.
Unite’s Post Office managers voted by 64 per cent for strike action with 78 per cent supporting industrial action short of a strike. There are 11,500 post offices across the UK.
Notes to editors:
There are about 3,500 staff affected by the pension scheme closure and the Post Office has indicated that the total number of redundancies this year could reach 1,700, of which 1,100 are pension scheme members.
Unite calculates that under the defined contribution scheme from next April, based on the vagaries of the stock market, staff will lose about 30 per cent of their retirement income going forward – thousands of pounds a year. The defined contribution scheme is already in operation for other members of the Post Office’s 7,000-strong workforce.
Unite said that it is clear that the government’s priority is the sub-office network at the expense of the 300-strong Crown office network which has been the backbone of the Post Office for decades
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.