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Cumbernauld Town Centre Post Office goes on strike with "fantastic" public response

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 19:15 GMT on Friday, 19th April, 2013.
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CUMBERNAULD Town Centre Post Office shut up shop at 2.30pm, this afternoon, as local members of the Communication Workers Union went on strike over closures, pay and privatisation. 

Starting their half-day strike, the Cumbernauld Crown post office joined hundreds of other post offices, including locations in other towns and cities such as Birmingham, London, Leeds, Sunderland, West Wickham, Redditch, Morriston, Glasgow, Bury St. Edmunds, Colchester, Norwich, Felixstowe, Dereham, Thetford, Haverhill, Cambridge, Huddersfield, and Dingle.

Today’s actions followed on from the CWU’s previous strike, on Easter Saturday, when Post Office chiefs asked CWU for talks which raised hopes among members that a solution could be in sight. 

However, according to CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey, management used the meeting to "simply restate their position - no pay rise and no change to the closure programme.”

He said: "And it's clear from the solid support for today's action that the management's dismissive attitude towards the concerns of staff has been totally counter-productive - today's pickets and protests were bigger, livelier and more determined even that the Easter action. 

"Make no mistake, the feelings of our members are stronger than ever - they deserve fair reward for their efforts and security of employment. Post Office is a successful and crucial public service.

"We will fight on for fair pay, job security and the defence of this vital and cherished service to communities," Andy insisted.

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CWU general secretary Billy Hayes added: "Today has shown once again that our members are determined to stand up for themselves and for their communities. The whole of the CWU supports the Post Office workers' fight for fair pay, job security and in defence of this service."

At the Cumbernauld Town Centre Post Office, today, a swarm of post office users were greeted with locked doors and when met by the local CWU picketers, the public were “100% behind” the case to save Cumbernauld’s main post office. 

Talking to Cumbernauld Media, East of Scotland CWU Area Representative Carole Bowmaker talked of the reasons behind the day’s actions, relating them to the post office’s “backdoor privatisation”.

She said: “We are on strike today because of the backdoor privatisation of our nation’s Crown post office. 

“All in all, seventy offices will close and will then be sold off. The whole saga will mean a lower service for customers, and this is no more illustrated than here in Cumbernauld, where there is at least 200 years of post office experience.” 

Talking about the public’s response to the day’s actions, Carole added: “We closed at half past two and the reaction was just fantastic, from the public; they are 100% behind us because, like us, they don’t want a dumbed down service.

“This is an ongoing dispute and further action will be inevitable to protest our post office.” 

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