FURTHER strike action has been called by the CWU over Post Office management’s cost-cutting measures.
The strike action is taking place today, and will involve up to 4,000 staff in 373 Crown post offices in a dispute over closures, job security and pay.
Post Office staff voted by nine to one (88%) in favour of strike action and have already struck on Easter Saturday.
Most post offices will be closed or have drastically reduced services and opening times.
The CWU is opposed to Post Office plans to close or franchise out 76 Crown offices – 20% of the network – which will affect over 800 jobs.
The union is seeking protection for jobs and services, and wants to secure a fair pay rise for staff who have had no rise since April 2011.
The CWU has analysed the Post Office’s ‘transformation’ plans and has discovered that cost-cutting accounts for 80% of its pathway to breaking even by 2015, which is a target dictated by the government.
The CWU says the cost-cutting, which accounts for 80% of the pathway to break even, means the loss of over 1,200 jobs.
Post Office plans now rely on staff cuts to account for more than half of all cost reductions (£20 million, up from £12.1m in September 2012).
Only 20% of the cash to break even will come from new income, which is down from 45% in the plan last September.
Reliance on franchising is up by £2m to £8m compared to last September.
Management’s pay offer of lump sums is conditional on reaching these unrealistic savings through closure of offices. Many staff are likely to never receive the money on offer.
The CWU believes Post Office Limited is using money given by government for transformation to pay off staff in redundancies.
CWU sees this as managing decline at the expense of jobs and services. This is despite the Post Office publishing half-year profits of £61 million in September 2012.