Sunderland Post Office staff to walk out on strike

Steve Keeley of the Communications Workers Union outside the Post Office, Fawcett Street, Sunderland
Steve Keeley of the Communications Workers Union outside the Post Office, Fawcett Street, Sunderland
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POST Office staff will walk out in a row over pay on Monday.

Members of the Communication Workers’ Union at Sunderland’s central post office in Fawcett Street will stage a half-day strike from 1pm on Monday.

Spokesman Steve Keeley said it was likely the branch would be closed altogether, but if not, services would be severely affected.

“We are hoping it is going to be closed completely, but we won’t know for definite until we see exactly how many people walk out,” he said.

The union says almost 90 per cent of its members nationwide rejected the deal, which was conditional on accepting changes and branch closures which have involved cutting 800 jobs.

“The pay offer is also conditional on meeting unrealistic targets,” said Mr Keeley.

“It is entirely possible staff would never see the majority of this pay offer. It is pie in the sky money, not a real pay rise.

“The offer is lump sums which would, in effect, mean salaries are frozen for four years and would erode the value of pensions.”

He added that the union had been left with no choice but to take industrial action in a bid to persuade bosses to reopen talks.

“Those taking part in this industrial action regret the impact this will have on customers but hope they accept we are doing it to highlight the threat of lost services to communities,” he said.

“It is the intention to send a strong message to Post Office management that these services are valued and urge them to come to the negotiating table to find an acceptable solution.

“This is an issue that will not only impact on Sunderland residents on Monday but could impact on North East communities for many years to come.”

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