Mail in the United Kingdom will stand still on Monday 29 July. 4,000 workers in 373 Crown post offices are to go on strike. This is the 9th strike by UK Crown postal service workers since Easter. The strike is organised by the Communications Workers Union (CWU). It represents over 203,500 members in the UK. The organised strikes are in protest over closures, jobs, and pay. Next week a two day policy forum involving approximately 500 Union representatives is being held. Similar to Crown Post Offices, Royal Mail is also facing dramatic changes with a push to privatisation. The forum will include a poll to decided on a national strike by all Royal Mail workers. If successful, this national strike will be held no later than September.
Franchise Plans for Crown post offices
Plans to both close 6 and downgrade and franchise 70 high street offices of Crown post offices has CWU members fearing
- loss of up to 1,500 front line jobs
- forced redundancies
- limited transfers
- pay freezes
- changes to pay structure, terms and conditions
- loss of pensions
- lower customer service standards
- added workplace pressure
- complete privatisation of services
Protection of existing conditions for mail workers
The Post Office are unable to assure the protection of existing working conditions as it readies the industry for privatisation. The union and its members fear that franchising will lead to complete privatisation of the industry. This concern appears to be reflected by support from the general public. Petitions are currently circulating with over tens of thousands of signatures. Public meetings with customers are also being held to discuss the postal services closure and future franchise opportunities.
Rejecting the plans to close 6 and franchise 70 of the offices has growing public support in the UK. International attention to the potential full privatisation of the industry is growing. The CWU received a letter of support from their equivalent union in Canada. Despite current negotiations with the Post Office failing, the CWU appears to be optimistic. They believe that a positive result for all parties can be reached, but may require government intervention.
Post Office rewards senior head office executives
Since beginning of 2011
- head office executives have shared a group bonus of 15.4 million pounds
- no pay rise received by frontline staff
The 76 proposed postal offices for closure and / or franchising currently
- represent 3% of all royal mail postal offices
- handle 20% of the entire customer network
- handle 40% of all financial services sales
These figures make the 76 proposed mail offices the ‘cash cow’ for the Post Office.
The CWU fear that the changes will exploit employees on the frontline of Crown mail.
Similar to Crown, Royal mail’s biggest fear is the complete privatisation of mail services in the UK.
The move to franchise and privatise does not appear to have support of the majority of English citizens.
Press Conference Kit Available
A full list of all 373 Crown Post Offices affected by Monday’s stroke can also be downloaded in PDF format with other supporting material from the same page at CWU.