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Stop the destruction of our crown network

Stop the destruction of our crown network

Postal, Post Office (PO) February 18 2020

CWU representative Tim Pavelin has voiced his staunch opposition to this morning’s news that a Norfolk Crown Office is to be axed.

The market town of North Walsham will see its post office handed over to retailer Neal Gurney, a franchisee who, according to Tim, “already owns eight different companies running seven post offices.

“His empire building should not be at the expense of privatising a public service,” he insisted, adding: “Highly trained staff with many years of service will be replaced by new staff on grossly inferior terms and conditions.”

The six members at North Walsham will be given the choice of either taking their chances under TUPE working for the new employer or of taking a redundancy package.

Since the beginning of the New Year, a total of 10 Crown Offices in different parts of the UK have been put under threat of franchising – handing them away to private retailers – a strategy which the union describes as “back-door privatisation” of the network, and which directly impacts upon 81 members’ jobs and 10 management staff.

As well as voicing profound opposition to Post Office management, the CWU will also be stepping up political campaigning both locally and nationally against franchising.

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker will be contacted by Tim Pavelin, who will be reminding him of his Conservative Party’s promises during last December’s general election campaign – particularly the pledge to ‘protect public services and the High Street’.

And at national level, CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey plans to seek urgent discussions with the new Minister of State with responsibility for the Post Office Amanda Solloway.

“We want to speak with her about this dangerous acceleration of the franchising and closing of our Crown Post Office network,” he explains.

“We need an immediate halt, before our Crown offices disappear altogether.”

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