Huddersfield’s two main post offices were open for business as usual today – despite a national strike by thousands of postal workers.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) walked out at Post Offices across the country and will also strike tomorrow (Tues) and on Christmas Eve in protest at job losses, the closure of their final salary pension scheme and the franchising of services from Crown offices to outside firms.
Union members who deliver cash to post offices will strike on Thursday and Friday in the same dispute.
However, the Post Office said nearly all its branches were open today. The strike was called at 300 branches, but the Post Office said about 250 of these were open.
The rest of the Post Office’s network of 11,600 branches is not involved in the dispute and are operating as normal.
Royal Mail reported little or no impact on its operations as a result of the CWU strike at the Post Office. Deliveries continued as normal and last posting dates for Christmas remain unchanged.
Tomorrow (Dec 20) is the latest recommended date for sending cards and packages second class by Royal Mail. Wednesday is the latest recommended date for first class.
Kevin Gilliland, Post Office network and sales director, said: “It is business as usual, with more than 50,000 Post Office people on hand to support customers as they make their preparations for Christmas.
“The Post Office plays a vital role in communities all over the UK and the changes we are making support our commitment to keeping these services widely available into the future.
“Our progress is clear. Over the last four years, we’ve dramatically reduced our losses and need for government subsidy at the same time as modernising nearly 7,000 post offices, adding more than 200,000 extra opening hours each week and becoming the largest UK retailer open on a Sunday.”
The Christmas walkouts follow previous days of action earlier this month and in October and September.
CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said: “All of the blame for this unfortunate turn of events is 100% down to the intransigence of the company, who have launched an unprecedented attack on the jobs, job security, and pensions of thousands of hard-working and loyal Post Office workers.
“Our members want the Post Office management to pause its closure and privatisation programme, hold off on its planned pensions changes and commit to sitting down with us and with the other key stakeholders of this great British institution and, together, construct a lasting vision.”