Overseas Christmas mail and parcels are set to be disrupted as Post Office managers are to stage a 24-hour walk out over a long-running row about pensions.
Members of Unite and the Communication Workers Union are targeting three hundred Crown Offices across the country, including the office in London Road, St Leonards, and Devonshire Square in Bexhill, on Saturday (December 3).
The date is believed to be the busiest day of the year when people send cards and parcels to relatives and friends outside the UK.
Unite officer for the Post Office Brian Scott said: “We believe that Saturday is the day when most people will be despatching their cards and parcels to their relatives and friends abroad.
“We are taking this action because the management refuses to talk in a constructive manner about the pension scheme which is currently in surplus to more than £143 million.
“This is the retirement income of our members which is at stake and we are not going to stand idly by and let them lose thousands of pounds when they retire.
“More generally, it appears that it is only the unions that care about the future viability of the Post Office and the services it provides for communities across the UK.
“The management seems to have abdicated its responsibility and as the government ultimately owns the Post Office we call, once again, for junior business minister Margot James to order an investigation into the Post Office’s future and what we consider is a catalogue of managerial incompetence.”
Kevin Gilliland, Post Office’s network and sales director, said: “We regret that the unions are attempting to disrupt services for people who want to use Post Office branches in the run up to Christmas. However, we would like to reassure our customers that, if a strike goes ahead on December 3, it will be business as usual in 97 per cent of our network, with almost all of our network operating to its usual Saturday schedule.
“We know all our people work very hard to make Christmas as easy as possible for customers - the unions’ call for strike action can only cause unnecessary concern in the run up to the big day.
“Customers who want to check if their branch is affected, or the opening hours of alternative branches, should visit our branch finder at www.postoffice.co.uk for find information on their closest branch.”
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