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Retired Post Office workers join the Dagenham closure protests

PUBLISHED: 09:54 06 May 2013

MP Jon Cruddas with Post Office staff at a previous strike.

MP Jon Cruddas with Post Office staff at a previous strike.

Archant

Retired Post Office workers and postmen have joined the fight against the closure of their local branch.

Campaigners were outside the Dagenham Heathway branch last Monday (29) collecting signatures to back their campaign.

Brain Lee, the Communication Workers Union’s London retired members council secretary, and many of the Royal Mail pensioners he represents were among the protesters.

He said: “The Dagenham Heathway post office is an essential part of the local economy. It’s a valuable asset to local shops and is relied upon by local residents.

“There are hundreds of people who come to this office every day and I just don’t think the same service could be matched by a few windows in the back of another shop.

“The Communication Workers Union wants these local jobs and services to be protected and that’s why we were out speaking to people of Dagenham to get their support to keep it open.

“The Post Office management haven’t announced a company to take over yet so we’re asking them to change their mind and save this branch.”

There are currently 12 staff and two managers employed at Dagenham Heathway Post Office.

It is one of 76 Post Offices announced for closure or for franchise which represents roughly 20 per cent of the remaining Post Office network and affects more than 800 staff.

A fourth round of nationwide strike action is taking place on Tuesday (7) organised by the union after negotiations failed.

CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: “The Post Office’s arguments on pay and closures is on fragile ground. Support among our members is growing by the day, with more staff going out on strike than in previous rounds of action.”

Kevin Gilliland, network and sales director at the Post Office said: “The CWU is in denial of the need for us to modernise our Crown network. It is currently losing £40m a year of public money. There is no room for manoeuvre and further strike action will only cause needless disruption to customers.”

A national petition that was set up by a member of the public against the closures has received almost 900 signatures. It is available at epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/46277.


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