Members of Britain’s largest union, Unite working for the Post Office have voted strongly for industrial action over plans by bosses to close the final salary pension scheme despite it being £100 million in surplus.
Of those taking part in the ballot 64.3 per cent supported the call for strike action with a huge 78 per cent supporting industrial action short of a strike. Around 3,500 staff are affected by the proposed pension scheme closure which comes at the same time as the Post Office seeks to make up to 1,700 people redundant by the end of the year.
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.
There are 11,500 post offices across the UK.
Brian Scott Unite officer for members in the Post Office said: "This strong vote in favour of industrial action should send a clear message to the Post Office that it has got it wrong over its decision to close the pension scheme.
“The Post Office’s executive team and the board need to reflect on the closure of a scheme which is currently £100 million in surplus and the anger it is causing among a workforce which is also facing a large number of job losses.
“It is nothing short of pension ‘robbery’ and the anger has been compounded by a failing business plan underpinned by the continued franchising of Crown Post Offices.
"Workers will not be made to pay for the failures of senior leaders in the Post Office with their pensions. Nor can the government continue to bury its head in the sand in the belief that everything at the Post Office is OK when in fact it is a basket case.
“Unite will now be considering its next steps but believes that the clear mandate is a call for industrial action in the near future should the Post Office’s leadership team fail to reconsider.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
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.