- More than 97 per cent of Post Office branches will be open and not affected by strike action
- All Post Offices will be open on 21, 22 and 23 December
- Last postal dates will not be affected by action
The Post Office is reassuring customers that the vast majority of its 11,600 branches will open for business as usual next week and that it is well prepared for strike action planned by the Communication Workers Union.
A small number of branches are potentially affected on 19 and 20 December, and Christmas Eve. All branches will be open on 21, 22 and 23 December.
Less than 100 of the 300 branches that are involved in the dispute were closed during previous strike action in December.
Contingency plans will ensure, as they have during previous strike action, that all branches will have sufficient cash and stock and not be affected by the union’s planned action on 22 & 23 December in its Supply Chain only.
Kevin Gilliland, Post Office, Group Network and Sales Director, said:
“We are disappointed that, whilst we’ve been holding discussions with the union throughout this week and have made it clear we remain open to further, formal talks at the most senior level, they are continuing to cause concern to customers during the festive season.
“Any action will affect fewer than three hundred of our branches, and many of these will be open to maintain services for customers preparing for Christmas.
“It will be business as usual in almost all of our network, with over 50,000 Post Office people on hand to support customers as they make their preparations for Christmas.”
The planned strike does not involve Royal Mail employees so there should be little or no impact on Royal Mail services.
Kevin Gilliland added that the Post Office wanted to work constructively with the CWU as the business continues to make changes to ensure its services remain widely available in communities all over the UK into the future.
“We are successfully adapting to fast-changing markets and customer needs,” he said,
“Over the last four years, we’ve dramatically reduced our losses and need for government subsidy, at the same time as modernising nearly 7000 post offices, adding more than 200,000 extra opening hours each week, and becoming the largest UK retailer open on a Sunday.
“We are making the business commercially sustainable and safeguarding Post Office branches for years to come.”
Advice to customers
We have received formal notice of strike action that involves 300 directly managed Post Office branches on 19th and 20th December and on 24 December. Post Office Supply Chain will be affected by industrial action on 22nd and 23rd December. All branches will be open on 21st, 22nd and 23rd December.
20th December is the latest recommended date for people sending cards and packages by Royal Mail 2nd Class Mail.
21st December is the latest recommended date for people sending cards and packages by Royal Mail 1st Class Mail.
Customers can visit www.postoffice.co.uk to find out if their usual branch may be affected by action, and for more information on nearest alternative nearby branches and their opening hours.
Directly managed branches are based in towns and city centres and typically have several other branches nearby.
N.B. The strike action called by CWU does not involve Royal Mail employees. Royal Mail has informed Post Office that it has robust contingency plans in place and expects that there will be little effect on the services it provides.
Post Office Press Office
1st Floor, Finsbury Dials
20 Finsbury Street
Tel: 020 7012 3456 (24 hours),
Follow us on Twitter @postofficenews
Notes to editors
With over 11,600 branches, the Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined.
97% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches and an additional 2,500 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.