CWU and MPs cranking up the pressure on the Post Office
Date published: 30 November 2018
MPs Jim McMahon, Debbie Abrahams and Angela Rayner pictured outside the Oldham town centre post office
The Communication Workers Union has announced that tomorrow (Saturday) will be a National Day of action across the UK as part of its campaign to fight Crown Office closures and build a stronger future for the Post Office.
One such event will be taking place in Oldham town centre with CWU members, Members of Parliament, Councillors, Labour Party members and supportive groups all set to join a mass protest.
Post Office Limited, owned by the Department for Business, Skills and Industrial Strategy, plan to close the branch and relocate to a smaller, reduced service to WH Smiths in Oldham town centre.
Activists will be gathering signatures for the #SaveOurPostOffice campaign throughout the day.
Oldham West and Royton MP said “The Post Office is the heart of Oldham and the high street and we will fight to keep it open and ensure those services are there for many years to come.
"We urge as many members of the public as possible to join us on the day.”
Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams added: “Our post office provides a vital community service and it shouldn’t be downgraded and hived off to a struggling private sector retailer.
"Given the current fragility of large high street retailers, using Oldham’s Crown Post Office to prop up a struggling business is wholly inappropriate.
“Oldhamers haven’t been consulted about this move by either Post Office Ltd or the Government, despite Consumer Focus and Citizen’s Advice reporting longer queues, inferior service and poor disabled access when Crown Offices are transferred to WHSmith.
Sean Fielding, Leader of Oldham Council, said “The Council is fully behind the campaign to save Oldham’s Crown Post Office.
"As the office makes a profit and is the best performing Crown Office in Greater Manchester, I am at a loss to understand why the Post Office wants to close it.
"I will be meeting up with senior Post Office managers to put forward a strong case for it to remain open.
"I can tell you they have one hell of fight on their hands if they want to close it."
Commenting on the plans, CWU Regional Secretary Carl Webb, said “The CWU will not sit idly by whilst well rewarded and unionised jobs are transferred into the minimum wage paying, bargain basement employer that is WHSmith.
"Having been voted consistently as the worst retailer on the High Street we believe WHSmith is not fit to house our vital postal services."
"This is a fight not only to protect local Post Offices now but to grow them in the future.
"The CWU is calling for the introduction of a Post Bank so as major banks remove themselves from the High Street, we can offer people an ethical and community based banking option – join us tomorrow if you agree.”
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