Dozens of Post Office branches have closed today as hundreds of staff walked out over a pay dispute.
A Post Office spokesperson told Sky News that “the vast majority” of its 11,500 branches would remain open during the one-day industrial action, but there will be no cash deliveries or collections for a 24-hour period from all UK post offices.
Of the 114 branches directly managed by the Post Office, mainly in city centres and which were expected to be most seriously impacted by the industrial action, 50 have been able to open, according to Employee Benefits.
The dispute is over a pay freeze for 2021-2022, and an offer of a 2% wage increase from April this year. Post Office employees would also receive a £250 one-off payment if the offer is accepted. The dispute impacts clerical, counter and administrative staff.
The CWU communciations union has described the pay freeze as a “slap in the face” to employees, and said that the proposed wage rise doesn’t match up to the rising prices that staff are facing as the cost of living increases at around 7%.
The union has said that Post Office management has been unwilling to negotiate over the issue.
The CWU’s members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the strike, with 97.3% of the 70.2% turnout supporting the motion.
The union’s assistant secretary Andy Furey said that the offer of a 2% pay rise was “nothing short of an insult to these key workers who provided exemplary services to this nation during the pandemic”.
Furey said that Post Office employees “deserve far better than the degrading offer currently on the table”, adding that the company’s management had “provoked real anger across the country”.
Services at the affected Post Office branches are set to return to normal tomorrow, but the CWU has said it has a mandate for further strikes in the coming weeks, the BBC reported.