Sunderland Post Office workers hold further strikes

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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CUSTOMERS will face further disruption at Sunderland’s city-centre post office when staff go on strike next week.

The Communication Workers’ Union is holding a further bout of industrial action for Crown Offices nationwide, as the latest step in a row over pay and job cuts.

Regional organiser Steve Keeley said there would be major problems for customers, even if bosses succeeded in keeping the Fawcett Street office open.

“In the event the post office is manned by managers and open, there will be a severe disruption to services offered and customers can expect long delays and queues,” he said.

The union is locked in a dispute with Post Office bosses over the business’s Transformation programme, which it says offers one-off payments – rather than a consolidated and pensionable pay rise – at the expense of 76 post offices nationwide being franchised or closed, at a cost of more than 1,200 jobs.

Post Office bosses say the union is out of touch. Network and sales director Kevin Gilliland said: “The CWU is in denial of the need for us to modernise our Crown network. It is currently losing £40million of public money a year. There is no room for manoeuvre and further action will only cause needless disruption to customers.”