Post Office workers to vote in pay row

Thousands of Post Office counter staff are to be balloted for strikes in a row over pay, threatening disruption in the run up to Easter.

The Communication Workers Union said 4,000 of its members would vote over the next few weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.

It accused the Post Office of refusing to consider a pay rise or guarantee there will be no more closures among the so-called Crown offices – the larger offices usually based on high streets.

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CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: “The Post Office’s attitude is about driving a race to the bottom on terms and conditions for staff and further downsizing the post office network. The company has no vision, and worse still appears to have no desire, to give staff a fair and just pay settlement or to work towards a sustainable post office network.”

Voting will start on February 18 and the ballot will close on March 4. The union will have to give the company seven days notice of any industrial action.

The Post Office said it was disappointed at the CWU’s plans for an industrial action ballot in the 373 Crown Post Office branches.

Paula Vennells, the Post Office’s managing director, said: “We know having no pay increase is a very difficult message for our staff. The unfortunate reality, however, is that the Crown Post Office network is loss-making.”