Kingsland High Street, Finsbury Park Post Offices to strike tomorrow over plans to shut them for good
PUBLISHED: 11:07 02 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:11 02 December 2016
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Kingsland High Street and Finsbury Park's Post Offices are expected to shut tomorrow as workers take to the street to protest their planned closure.
The Finsbury Park branch, in Seven Sisters Road, is “90 per cent” likely to be closed by strike action, according to the Communication Workers Union (CWU), but the Dalston branch definitely will not open.
Union members at the latter are set to be joined by Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott while handing out “postcards” for shoppers to sign.
The CWU and Unite are contesting the potential franchising of the two branches, which the Post Office says is necessary to balance the books.
That is likely to mean they are moved inside other shops, which could put some of the branches’ 22 jobs at risk.
The Post Office advertised the branches for franchising in July of this year as part of a sweeping reform of its network.
Though no bidders have yet been found, workers at both sites face an uncertain future.
CWU rep Clive Tickner said: “The office is an essential part of the local economy.
“It is a valuable asset to the area and relied upon by local residents and businesses. We want local jobs and services protected.”
Despite the protests, the Post Office maintains services will not suffer should the branches be franchised.
“We need to put our network on a stable footing,” said spokeswoman Martine Munby.
“We know franchising works and we are looking to secure Post Office services for communities in a more financially viable way.”
Asked about potential job losses, she added: “We have a good track record of working with staff to provide the best option for them.”
The majority of Britain’s 11,500 Post Offices are already run as franchises, with the Kingsland High Street and Finsbury Park branches among the handful that aren’t. Strike action for Saturday has been called in some 300 branches.