Post offices forced to close as staff walk out

The Oxford Times: Witney Post Office Witney Post Office

TWO post offices in Oxfordshire were closed yesterday as staff walked out as part of a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and branch closures.

The Witney and Banbury Crown post offices shut their doors at 2.30pm, although the Oxford office in St Aldate’s remained open.

It is the 13th round of industrial action since Easter.

The Witney site is earmarked for closure, with the Post Office wanting to move it from its Market Square premises to the WH Smith store in the Woolgate Centre next March.

In February the company announced it was one of 70 directly-managed Crown branches across the country facing closure to cut losses.

Communication Workers Union general secretary Dave Ward said: “The company is unfairly imposing pay freezes on both Crown staff and now admin and supply chain workers while senior managers have enjoyed significant bonus payments.

“These double standards cannot continue and we hope that this latest strike action will focus the minds of management to see sense."”

A Post Office spokesman said: “We need to get the Crown network to break even by March 2015. The union needs to recognise that and work with us to achieve it rather than wasting time on strike action.”

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On Saturday Duncan Enright, a West Oxfordshire district councillor for the Witney East ward, will be collecting signatures for a petition designed to fight the plans to close the Witney branch.

Comments (1)

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10:45am Fri 22 Nov 13

Botley Bill says...

Why does the Crown network need to break even by 2015?

Is it because the EU says it has to?

The Government won't admit this and has gone to great lengths to cover this up. The Government has said that the Post Office must break even if it wants to become a mutual but how will being a mutual benefit the British public? A Post Office Board was set up to make mutualisation the objective and we are now in the position of having to put up with having our Crown Post Offices taken away from us so the Post Office can break even.

Not to mention the fact that ex-WH Smiths boss Paula Vennells is moving our Crown Offices into WH Smiths shops so that WH Smiths can avoid going the way of Woolworths and Dixons.

A lot of MPs voted for the Bill that allowed the Post Office to be amputated from Royal Mail because they were given assurances that this would stop Post Office closures and it was not just to make a privatised Royal Mail more attractive to wealthy foreign investors.

Had the Post Office not been cut away from Royal Mail, the 409 million pounds of profit Royal Mail made last year could easily have covered the 116 million pounds of subsidy the tax payer had to pay the Post Office Network. Instead, this money is being used to reward executives who are closing down Post Offices up and down the country.

The British public own the Post Office and local communities have the right to decide what sort of Post Office is best for their community. If you do not want Witney Crown Post Office moved to WH Smiths, it should not be moved.

If David can't defend this small piece of British soil in his own constituency, how can he defend any British soil?

Save Witney Crown Post Office. Write to www.davidcameronmp.c
om and if the Post Office is moved to WHSmiths, don't buy anything there on your way through to the Post Office counters.
Why does the Crown network need to break even by 2015? Is it because the EU says it has to? The Government won't admit this and has gone to great lengths to cover this up. The Government has said that the Post Office must break even if it wants to become a mutual but how will being a mutual benefit the British public? A Post Office Board was set up to make mutualisation the objective and we are now in the position of having to put up with having our Crown Post Offices taken away from us so the Post Office can break even. Not to mention the fact that ex-WH Smiths boss Paula Vennells is moving our Crown Offices into WH Smiths shops so that WH Smiths can avoid going the way of Woolworths and Dixons. A lot of MPs voted for the Bill that allowed the Post Office to be amputated from Royal Mail because they were given assurances that this would stop Post Office closures and it was not just to make a privatised Royal Mail more attractive to wealthy foreign investors. Had the Post Office not been cut away from Royal Mail, the 409 million pounds of profit Royal Mail made last year could easily have covered the 116 million pounds of subsidy the tax payer had to pay the Post Office Network. Instead, this money is being used to reward executives who are closing down Post Offices up and down the country. The British public own the Post Office and local communities have the right to decide what sort of Post Office is best for their community. If you do not want Witney Crown Post Office moved to WH Smiths, it should not be moved. If David can't defend this small piece of British soil in his own constituency, how can he defend any British soil? Save Witney Crown Post Office. Write to www.davidcameronmp.c om and if the Post Office is moved to WHSmiths, don't buy anything there on your way through to the Post Office counters. Botley Bill
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