Post office picket is a damp squib

A PLANNED protest by Post Office staff attracted just three people for less than a few minutes today.

Saturday, 30th March 2013, 5:10 pm

The staff members arrived at the Cambridge Road branch at 9.30am but quickly left by 10am as snow and sleet started to fall.

The Communication Workers Union had told The Observer that staff would be staging a picket but declined to go public with the reason for the no-show.

A total of 17 staff voted to take strike action joined hunderds of Crown Post Office employees across the UK.

Bexhill’s Devonshire Road branch was closed all day. No picket line was planned for the branch.

The Communication Workers Union said the strike action was in opposition to Post Office plans to close or franchise more than 70 Crown offices.

The union also wants to secure a fair pay increase for counter staff who have had no pay rise since April 2011.

The Post Office said its Crown branches were losing £40m a year which was being subsidised by public money which could not be allowed to continue.

Thousands of people have already signed several petitions in protest over the feared closure of the branch.

The union is planning more industrial action in the coming weeks.

Mole Meade, CWU area reprsentative for the South East, said: “We are a 350 year old public service and the last stop for many people.

“We had people coming up to us today who wanted to renew their car tax because they had forgotton their reminders but they couldn’t because the

branch was closed.

“The minute they close down the Crown post offices the High Street will just die.

“We are hoping it won’t be protracted and Post Office management will get around the table for meaninful dialogue as soon as possible.”