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Posted on 8 March 2013 at 15:58 GMT

Post Office workers vote for strike action

A CWU press release

Members of the Communication Workers Union have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action returning an 88% yes vote in a national strike ballot.

The ballot closed today (Friday 8th March) in a dispute over pay and job security for 4,000 Crown Post Office staff working in the network of 373 high street offices with three-quarters of members taking part in the ballot.

Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: "Our Post Office members have spoken loud and clear in this ballot.

"They are fed up with being treated like second-class workers by the Post Office and they want their concerns to be listened to.

"There hasn't been so much as the pretence of negotiations from Post Office Ltd and that must change if strike action is to be avoided.

"We are now asking the company to come to the table to discuss pay and job security for these workers and avoid the need for strike action."

Andy Furey, CWU official for Post Office members, added: "The Crown network brings significant revenues into the business and is crucial to the effective delivery of many products and services.

"The company has given pay rises to other employees and now it's time they played fair and awarded a pay rise to Crown office staff.

"Job security and the future of the network are the elephant in the room here and we want to see the Post Office acting as a responsible and fair employer, not treating parts of the workforce differently and gambling with services which communities rely on."

Ballot result in full:
Yes: 88.1%
No: 11.9%
Turnout: 74.7%

CWU is awaiting a response from Post Office Ltd to the request for talks on pay and job security for Crown office staff.

The union is not issuing notice for strike action today. Seven days notice must be given for strike action in the UK.

Background to dispute:

A pay rise was due in April 2012 for Crown Post Office staff but is still outstanding. Other staff employed by the Post Office - in areas such as supply chain and administration -have received pay rises in this period and are set for further rises in 2013.

Postmasters have also received a pay rise. But the counter staff in Crown offices have had nothing since April 2011.

In February the Post Office announced its intention to franchise 70 Crown offices - 20 per cent of the remaining network.

This has raised fears over job security for the 770 people working in those offices and uncertainty for the future of other Crown offices.

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