Custom House Post Office to be hit by 24 hour strike
The Post Office in Custom House Street is likely to close due to a 24-hour strike by the Communication Workers Union on Saturday, December 3.
Members of the union are taking industrial action over what they describe as “managed decline” through the “cutting of jobs” and the “privatisation of Crown Offices” as well as plans to “close the Defined Benefit pension scheme”.
The Custom House Street office is one of six offices likely to be affected across the North.
CWU General Secretary, Dave Ward said: “The Post Office is now at crisis point – it needs a new strategy as a matter of urgency.
“No-one is thinking of the future. This isn’t good for workers, it isn’t good for customers and it isn’t good for the future of the business. The CWU will not simply stand by and see another British Industry destroyed.
“We have a simple demand – that the government pauses the cuts and brings stakeholders together for a structured period of talks to develop a plan that is about more than managing the decline of the service - our members and the public deserve nothing less.”
Mark Davies, Communications and Corporate Affairs Director at Post Office, said: “We are frustrated that our unions are again calling for strikes when we continue to try to reach a constructive way forward through talks, and have been inviting them to meet with our Group Executive to discuss our strategy in detail since April this year. Our latest invitation to meet on December 22 remains unanswered.
“We can reassure our customers that, if a strike goes ahead on December 3, the vast majority of people working at Post Office branches would not be involved and almost all of our network will be operating to its usual Saturday schedule.”
The Consumer Council advised Post Office customers to be aware of the planned strike.
It suggested consumers considering visiting Custom House Street in Derry, New Row in Coleraine, Castle Centre in Antrim, Bridge Street in Belfast, Main Street in Bangor, or Frances Street in Newtownards, make alternative plans.
Staff at the other 480 Post Offices in the North are not taking part in any industrial action so these branches will operate as normal.
Michael Legg, Senior Policy Officer at the Consumer Council, said: “If you cannot wait to visit the Post Office on a different day or use another branch, you can take your mail to a post box as collections from Royal Mail will operate as normal. Royal Mail customers who already use prepaid parcel drop off services can continue to do so at some delivery offices. For more information call Royal Mail on 03457 740 740 or visit www.royalmail.com.
“To collect benefits and pensions at a Post Office you can use any unaffected branch or use a Post Office ATM to take out cash. Visit www.postoffice.co.uk/atm-locator to check which branches have ATMs.
“For those who usually pay bills at the Post Office, this can still be done at any unaffected Post Office branch or you can avoid late payments by calling the company and asking about alternative ways of paying, for example you may be able to pay over the phone or online,” concluded Michael.