Post Office staff vote to strike over pay

Post office sign
Image caption The Post Office says the Crown offices are losing £55m a year

Staff who work in Crown post offices have voted to go on strike in a dispute over pay and possible branch closures.

Communication Workers Union members at the 373 branches voted by nine to one for a strike, on a 66% turnout.

Talks are scheduled with the Royal Mail but strikes could start by the end of March if they were unsatisfactory, the CWU warned.

The Post Office said it was "disappointed" by the result, adding that deliveries would be unaffected.

The union said it was worried by the lack of pay rise this year and the future of the Crown offices.

'Job security'

Crown post offices form the network of main branches in the UK's High Streets and employ about 4,000 counter staff.

CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: "This ballot is about more than pay - it is the job security of our members and the future of the Crown office network which is also at stake.

"The government and the company appear to be hiding the fact that they are planning a programme of further Post Office closures," he added.

Last month, the Post Office rejected the CWU's claim for a staff pay rise, saying the Crown branches were losing money, amounting to £55m in the past year.

A spokesman for the Post Office, said: "Post Office is disappointed that staff in our 373 directly managed [Crown] branches have voted in favour of strike action. Some 97% of Post Offices are run by subpostmasters and they will be unaffected by any industrial action.

"Postal deliveries across the UK are also unaffected by this ballot result."

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