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Post Office workers go on strike for twelfth time this year
Post Office workers have gone on strike for the twelfth time in a drawn-out battle against franchising.
Staff at post offices across the borough have walked out as the dispute over plans to franchise 70 branches, including Potters Bar and East Finchley, continues.
If the national postal chain goes ahead with the plans, the branches will close and be transfered to supermarkets and other shops. This has sparked fears about job losses, the quality of service that would be provided and how far the branches will be moved.
Communication Workers Union deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: “If the Post Office thinks this dispute will simply fade away they are 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.”
Extra staff have been enlisted in order to keep Potters Bar Post Office in Darkes Lane open today.
East Finchley Post Office in High Road, which could also be relocated as part of the plans, has also remained open today.
Gary Watt, CWU representative for the area, said: “Although we are taking strike action in the area most of the staff have gone into work today – they’re finding it difficult financially.”
Branches in High Street, Barnet, Finchley Road in Golders Green and High Road in North Finchley are also affected by today’s strike action.
The CWU predicted the strike would affect up to 4,000 staff working in 372 Crown post offices after they voted nine to one in favour of walking out.
In a statement the Post Office said: “The Post Office is transforming the Crown network to bring it back into profit by improving customer experience to gain new business.
“Any branches partnered with a retailer will offer access to the same Post Office products and most recent research has shown that franchise branches offer the same high levels of customer service as Crown branches.
“Post Office will provide every support to those colleagues working in potential franchise branches as they consider their options. There will be no compulsory redundancies.”
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