Post office staff strike twice in pay dispute

Protesting workers at Sudbury post office went on strike for the eleventh time on Tuesday as talks with union leaders continue.

Communications Workers’ Union members at the East Street branch had downed tools on Saturday and a skeleton staff manned the desks on Tuesday before finishing earlier than the normal 5.30pm closure.

The union is protesting against plans to partner 70 main Post Office branches with other retailers and close six offices, as well as calling for pay increases of 3.5 and 3.25 per cent in the next two years instead of the Post Office’s offer of cash payments up to £3,400 by April 2015.

Tim Pavlin, east of England representative for the CWU, said: “The good news is Post Office management and union representatives are meeting to discuss resolving the dispute.”

He said progress was due to the strength of the striking members and added that three-quarters of CWU members had backed “action short of striking” in a ballot with a 60 per cent turnout.

This would entail members refusing to discuss the Post Office’s financial products including savings accounts, insurance and credit cards with customers.

A Post Office spokeswoman said: “We would like to reassure customers that they will be able to continue to access these services at Crown branches.

“The action the CWU is suggesting is for its members working in around 370 Crown branches across the UK to stop proactively introducing these services to customers. This can only cost its members money and disadvantage our customers.

“We must continue with our plans to turnaround the Crown network to ensure we keep these branches across the UK,” she added.