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CUMBERNAULD Post Office will shut for a period after 2.30pm, this afternoon, it has been announced.
The Communication Workers Union has declared that strike action will take place today, with up to 4,000 staff in 373 Crown post offices affected, in a dispute over closures, job security and pay.
The actions follow a vote by Post Office staff, where they voted by nine to one (88%) in favour of strike action and chose to take strike action on Easter Saturday.
As part of today’s action, most post offices are expected to close or have drastically reduced services and opening times with the action coming in opposition to Post Office plans to close or franchise 76 Crown offices - 20% of the network -which would affect over 800 jobs.
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The CWU is seeking protection for jobs and services, and wants to secure a fair pay rise for staff who have had no rise since April 2011 and the CWU claims that it has analysed the Post Office's 'transformation' plans to discover that cost-cutting accounts for 80% of its pathway to breaking even by 2015, which is a target dictated by government.
Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: "This is effectively a Post Office closure programme in a desperate attempt to slash costs to meet government funding cuts by 2015. The Post Office can talk about 'transformation' and 'sustainability' all it likes but the reality is that these are euphemisms for closing offices, drastically altering the make-up of the post office network and handing the running of services over to corporations which are built around other income streams and could walk away from post office services.
"These are services and as taxpayers we value them and want our taxes to bring us services we value. It's not a simple 'profit and loss' calculation. The government is the elephant in the room here and they must be held responsible."
Cumbernauld’s Town Centre is due to close after 2.30pm, this afternoon, with a present picket outside the town’s central branch.
Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, added: "We're deeply concerned for the future of the network. How will the Post Office make current accounts a success if it closes 20% of the offices which are proven to drive financial services sales? Where will the expertise, time and space for opening bank accounts come from without the Crown network? One hand doesn't seem to know what the other is doing here."
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