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Press release   •   Nov 30, 2016 11:30 GMT

Strike action called in fewer than 300 branches, many of which will be open to maintain services for customers preparing for Christmas

Post Office regrets unions’ refusal to agree way forward through talks, but confident disruption will be minimised

The Post Office is reassuring customers that it will be business as usual over 97 per cent of its network of 11,600 branches on Saturday 3rd December, despite the strike action called by its unions.

Kevin Gilliland, Post Office Network and Sales Director, said: “We want to reassure people that almost all of our network will be open and operating normally. Action affects fewer than three hundred of our branches, and many of these will be open to maintain services for customers preparing for Christmas. It will also be business as usual in the rest of our network - over 97 per cent of branches will be operating their usual Saturday service.

“Instead of trying to unnecessarily alarm customers during the festive season, we want the unions to join us in talks to discuss our strategy. Their members work very hard to give our customers the best possible service in the run up to Christmas, this action can only cause concern to customers.”

The Post Office said that around 1500 CWU grade employees are scheduled to work on Saturday, alongside around 100 Unite grade managers. It will be business as usual for the tens of thousands of people working across the rest of the network.

Kevin Gilliland continued: “The Post Office plays an important role in communities all over the UK, and has done for centuries. The changes we are making throughout our business underpin our commitment to keeping Post Office services widely available into the future. More than 99 per cent of people in the UK live within three miles of a Post Office branch, and we want to safeguard that level of service.

“Over the last four years, nearly 7000 post offices have been modernised, adding more than 200,000 extra opening hours each week, and becoming the largest UK retailer open on a Sunday. We want that progress to continue.”

Advice to customers

Saturday 3rd December is the latest recommended date for people sending cards and packages to destinations in Africa and the Middle East only. People wishing to send items to these destinations can visit to find out if their usual branch is open 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.

The strike action called by Unite and CWU does not involve Royal Mail employees. Royal Mail has informed Post Office that it has robust contingency plans in place and expects there will be little effect on the services it provides.



About the Post Office

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 11,600 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