Dagenham Post Office workers strike over privatisation plans

Dagenham Heathway Post Office.

Dagenham Heathway Post Office. - Credit: Archant

Post Office workers went out on strike again on Thursday over concerns about working conditions if their branch is privatised.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) took action for a third time against plans to partner with a retailer to run the Dagenham Heathway Post Office.

CWU Union representative Garrie Bond said workers fear franchising the branch would mean pay cuts, job losses, and falling standards in service.

He added: “Although the company is saying the service will stay the same, that’s not always the case and it hasn’t been when it’s happened in the past.

“The councillors have been very supportive and so have the public. People didn’t really realise what was happening when we first went out but now it’s becoming more common knowledge.

“People are also behind us because it’s another closure on the high street which is sad to see.”

The Dagenham Heathway Post Office is currently part of the Crown Post Office network - one of 70 nationwide - which bosses say are making a loss.

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They argue the move would save public money, modernise the service, and there will be no compulsory redunancies.

Kevin Gilland, network and sales director at the Post Office, said: “We are disappointed at the CWU’s decision to call further strike action.

“This can only cause disruption to customers and cost our people money. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.

“We must continue with our plans to turnaround the Crown network to ensure we keep these branches on high streets and in city centres across the UK.

“We remain open to discussions with the CWU on pay options which do not add to the current loss of public money.”

Workers plan to strike again on Saturday and the CWU are setting up a public meeting on July 18 from 6.30pm to 8pm at Village Community Hall, Vicarage Road, Dagenham.