The decision by the Post Office to quit offering mortgages in its high street Crown Offices is another ‘nail in the coffin’ of its public service remit, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Thursday 25 January).
Unite, which has more than 600 managers working in the Post Office, heavily criticised Post Office bosses for their decision to remove mortgages from the high street, which will lead to over 70 redundancies.
Unite officer for the Post Office Brian Scott said: “We have been told by the Post Office that it intends to walk away from the public and will put its mortgage business online.
“This is particularly disappointing as it was not many years ago that the Post Office launched this mortgage product, provided by the Bank of Ireland, in a fanfare of publicity suggesting that this will be a solution to the myriad of challenges it faces.
“Once again the senior management at the Post Office has failed in its attempt to make the network meaningful and relevant to the public.
“Just before Christmas the Post Office received a further £370 million of government funding and one of its first activities in the new year is to make over 70 people redundant.
“The people affected are largely relatively new to the Post Office and will receive low compensation payments. Contrast this with the reported £52,000 and £37,000 pay increases paid to the CEO Paula Vennells and the finance director Alistair Cameron respectively in 2017.
“Unite will be fighting for alternative work and improved benefits where other work is not available for those that are affected by this decision.
“This is another cynical attempt to remove the Post Office from the high streets of the UK and to transfer the work to corner shops, off licences and pharmacies where the customer experience is poorer and the pay for workers is lower.
“This is a clear demonstration of the ‘slash and burn’ approach by the Post Office which has no clear strategy or business plan for the future. It is another nail in the coffin in the public service remit that customers expect from this iconic national organisation.
“The mortgage advisers work in post offices currently. The management is moving to a plan where people will have to phone a call centre for mortgage advice. However, it is less than five years since top executives trumpeted that mortgages would be a profitable product in post offices.
“The minister at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy responsible for the Post Office, Andrew Griffiths cannot sit back and ignore any longer what is really happening in the Post Office.
“He must initiate a review which will expose the failings, so that its highly paid management jettisons its ‘slash and burn’ business model and resurrects the public service ethos that has underpinned the Post Office’s role over the last century.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065. 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.