Press Release: Medway Greens Support Post Office Strike

With thousands of ‘Post Office Counters’ workers due to strike on Easter Saturday over closures, jobs and pay, Medway Green Party are keen to restate their commitment to locally based services in Medway.

“We need to preserve and re-invigorate, our local post offices and high streets” said Trish Marchant, Medway Green Party Co-ordinator.

Trish Marchant continued:

“It is the poor and vulnerable who suffer the most from centralised services. They are far away and expensive to travel to. Closures have a social cost and a cost to the community with isolation from remote, impersonal and inaccessible services. Job losses and pay cuts obviously effect whole families and the wider community too.”

“The Green Party favours the provision of services as close as possible to local residents. This also means a reduction of unnecessary travel, with all the environmentally damaging effects that are associated. A shift to centralised services means that, instead of a short walk or cycle ride, people are forced to get into their cars or travel long distances by public transport to reach a post office” adds Trish.

The strike, which follows an 88% vote in favour of strike action, and refusal to negotiate by the employer, has been mounted to protect both jobs and services. It is in opposition to plans to close or franchise seventy-six Crown offices, 20% of the remaining Post Office network.

Medway Green Party member, Richard Patey, who is also a union representative at Post Office Counters sister organisation, Royal Mail says:

“This policy is reducing the Post Office counters, once based on a vital public service ethos, to one of a limited business opportunity within the existing retail market. This is a ‘race to the bottom’ approach, being used by the employers at Post Office Counters and the Royal Mail network in general, which includes lower pay and poorer conditions for staff as well as a poorer service for the customer. It also represents a general shift towards private corporations profiteering at the expense of working people and local communities”.

Trish Marchant adds: “The Green Party has different priorities. Rather than focussing solely on profit making activities, we would take account of all the factors affecting the quality of life for people, alongside environmental benefits. The Green Party would reopen post offices closed by the misguided policies of the current and previous governments”.

ENDS

Notes:

www.cwu.org/news/archive/post-office-staff-to-strike-easter-saturday.html

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