By Tristan Harris Thursday 26 September 2013 Updated: 26/09 16:43
THE POST Office has moved to reassure Bromsgrove residents that it will be doing its best on Monday (September 30) to maintain the level of service at its High Street counter, despite strike action.
The CWU (Communication Workers Union) has called for its members working in the branch to join in with the industrial action which, the organisation says, is over closures, franchising, job losses and pay and has been ongoing since Easter.
Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said if the Post Office thought the dispute would simply fade away it was sadly mistaken.
"Our members are fiercely opposed to the company’s plans to close and franchise offices, slash jobs and impose a pay freeze.
“The company’s plans are to downgrade the network, reduce services to local communities and hit jobs in the network.
"There is no mandate for this course of action and customers across the country are appalled at the reckless attitude of the Post Office towards these public services.
“We have tried talking to the Post Office about costs and efficiencies, but this is a company which made £94million profit last year and paid significant bonuses totalling £15.4 million primarily to senior managers.
"This can’t be paid for by cuts to frontline jobs and services, it’s simply not right."
He added the action would continue into the Christmas period unless the Post Office's management saw sense and negotiated a fair deal for staff working at the Crown offices.
But Kevin Gilliland, The Post Office's network and sales director, was scathing of the proposals, claiming the CWU had refused its members a fair and affordable pay offer of cash payments totalling up to £3,400 by April 2015.
“The CWU is calling for an above inflation pay agreement when last year our overall performance was a loss of £116million - we must reverse this loss of public money.
"Strike action can only cost our people money, cause disruption to customers and threaten our plans to turn the business around and keep our branches on high streets and in city centres across the UK."
He added the CWU was failing to recognise the financial realities faced by the Crown network.
“Any action will not affect over 97 per cent of the Post Office network and the majority of Crown branches have remained open during previous strike action,” he said.
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