The ‘pig-headed’ failure of Post Office bosses to hold constructive talks over the closure of the defined salary pension scheme has prompted more than 730 managers to stage a second 24-hour strike next Monday (31 October).
The 736 managers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will be striking for 24 hours from 03:00 on 31 October, along with the Communication Workers Union (CWU), in the dispute embracing pensions, job losses and the franchising of Crown post offices.
Unite warned that more strikes could be on the cards in the run-up to Christmas, causing severe disruption at this peak time of the year.
Unite officer for the Post Office Brian Scott said: “Our members were angered at the announcement earlier this month that Post Office management has requested the pension scheme’s trustees close the scheme from the end of March 2017.
“The senior management has been pig-headed in refusing to enter into meaningful and constructive talks with the unions on these abysmal pension changes. We cannot just stand by and see the retirement incomes of our members being eroded by thousands of pounds.
"This decision is unnecessary and mean spirited as the pension scheme is currently in surplus to the extent of more than £143 million. We, once again, call on the Post Office to reverse its decision to close the scheme.
“Unless the management enters into talks in a positive frame of mind, more strikes are probable in the run-up to Christmas – the busiest time of the year.
“The senior management team seems unable to provide a coherent business plan for the future and that’s why we have asked for junior business minister Margot James to investigate the Post Office, ultimately owned by the government, as we believe that the management has not got a good grasp of the issues facing the organisation, nor a coherent plan for the future.”
Unite’s Post Office managers first took 24 hours of strike action on 15 September.
Unite’s Post Office managers had 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.