Sunderland Post Office workers set for fresh strike action

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 workers are ramping up industrial action in Sunderland.

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) has served notice for two more strikes, as part of a national dispute over closures, job security and pay.

Wearside customers will face disruption at branches such as Fawcett Street on Thursday and Saturday, June 29, the sixth and seventh days of action so far.

Regional organiser Steve Keeley was delighted with the response to last strike call, which saw Post Office bosses forced to work behind the counter to keep the Fawcett Street office open.

“We had a 100 per cent turn-out from staff,” he told the Echo.

“We had a presence outside for a couple of hours, just to gauge support, and we gathered more than 500 signatures.”

Union bosses said talks have made no progress, and called for Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells to get involved. Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “We’ve had informal talks this week which allowed a good exchange of views and discussion on various options, but there’s no change, no new offers and no movement from the Post Office.”

The Post Office, which receives £1.3billion of taxpayer subsidy, wants to close or franchise 76 Crown offices. Bosses say the moves are essential to securing the future of the service, and they have received 150 expressions of interest from retailers to run its services.