London, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/19/2013 -- Post office employees have decided to go on strike, due not only to the announcement that more than seventy of the branches owned by the state are to close, but also a dispute over pay. Friends of Vincent Boots director read that the Crown branches which will be closing are going to be franchised, and then placed within various retail shops like WH Smith. A Dagenham branch employee, Debbie Spiteri, has been working for the Post Office for three decades, and told journalists that she had assumed she would have a job there for the rest of her working days. Now, it looks as though she might be made redundant, and will be forced to look for work elsewhere.
Clients of Vincent Bootes Surrey resident read that the Post Office is insisting that all staff working in the branches which will be closing will either be offered voluntary redundancy, or be transferred to a new employer. However, the CWU (Communication Workers Union) has predicted that at least eight hundred employees will lose their jobs. The general manager of the WH Smith network and the Post Office's Crown, Roger Gale, argued that these changes are absolutely necessary, and that it's not a case of closing down post offices, but rather retaining them in a different way, so that tax-payers don't lose their money.
At the moment, Gale explained, they are trying to ensure that the Crown network starts to break even, as it is currently losing thirty seven million pounds annually. On Vincent Bootes bio page on Facebook, one of his friends noted that the branches which are due to close down represent three percent of the post office's total network. However, the CWU pointed out that this seemingly small percentage of branches handles twenty percent of all customer transactions, as well as forty percent of all financial transactions which relate to credit cards and banking.
The Dagenham CWU representative, Clive Tickner, said that the closing of branches will also have an impact on the shops around these post office locations, taking custom away from businesses in the local communities. The strike will be the dispute's seventh stage of action, and is to affect only the branches owned by the Crown. In addition to protesting the closing down of the branches, staff members are also requesting a 3.5% pay rise. However, friends of Vincent Bootes Esher resident read that the Post Office are refusing to budget, explaining that they cannot offer more money to their employees when they are operating at a loss.
Post office employees have announced a strike, in protest of the closing down of Crown-owned branches. They are also requesting a pay rise. However, the Post Office has argued that these changes are necessary and will go ahead as planned.