Hastings post office staff to strike next Saturday

STAFF from the post office in Hastings town centre are staging another day-long strike next Saturday (June 29).

The decision has been called by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) amid an ongoing dispute centring on the Post Office’s plans to close or franchise more than 70 Crown offices - branches directly owned by the organisation.

The industrial action affects all Crown branches.

Staff at the Cambridge Road branch staged a half-day strike yesterday afternoon (Thursday) from 2pm as the Observer went to press.

Mole Meade, CWU area representative for the south east, said: “It’s unfortunate that we have had to take further strike action but we are hoping the Post Office will get around the negotiation table with the CWU.”

Post Office bosses have received more than 200 expressions of interest from potential retailers. Managers are currently looking for retail partners for the 70 Crown branches where services would be run from within a store, such as WHSmith.

The plans have attracted widespread opposition, with the CWU staging several strikes in recent months.

Thousands of people have also signed several petitions calling for Hastings Post Office to be left as it is.

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

“We remain open to discussions with the CWU.”