Break in strikes ‘may open door for talks’

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Sudbury Post Office customers suffered delays for the third week running due to strike action by union members on Tuesday.

Half of the branch’s eight Communication Workers’ Union members chose to support the national day of action, protesting against a Post Office pay offer deemed “unfair” and plans to franchise or close 76 offices by taking an unpaid day off.

But with no further strikes currently scheduled, Tim Pavlin, CWU representative for the East of England, said he hoped that negotiations between the two parties could start again.

“Sudbury had slightly longer queues than normal due to the minimal staffing, but it has had so many staffing issues in the last few years that I doubt customers noticed much difference,” he said.

“The strikes are still holding up well, so the pressure is on the Post Office to talk to the union.

“We have not got a date set for another strike yet so there may be a small window of opportunity – the ball is in the Post Office’s court,” added Mr Pavlin.

A spokeswoman for the Post Office said: “We continue to be open to discussing pay options that do not increase the bottom line loss of our crown branches, which stands at around £40million a year and is funded by tax payers’ money.

“We regret any inconvenience that may be caused to customers by this strike action. We are working hard to minimise inconvenience and over 240 of our 370 Crown branches remain open, while the remainder of our 11,800 branches are unaffected,” she added.

“Our plans are crucial to keeping Post Office branches on high streets across the UK.”