Post office staff in fresh strikes
Workers at Crown post offices are launching a fresh wave of strikes in an escalating row over jobs, pay and closures.
The Communication Workers Union said its members will walk out in the latest industrial action linked to plans to franchise or close more than 70 Crown sites - the larger branches usually found on high streets.
A UK-wide stoppage will be held on Saturday, staff in Scotland will strike on Monday, and union members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will stop work on Tuesday.
The five-month dispute is over closures, job cuts and pay, and the latest strikes follow months of industrial action, which started at Easter.
CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: "This is the first time we have announced two days of strikes at the same time and the first time we have announced back-to-back days of strike action. Coupled with the 90% yes vote by members for industrial action short of strike, the message can't be much stronger to Post Office management.
"Crown post office workers do not agree with management's slash-and-burn approach and are prepared to take prolonged industrial action to defend jobs and services and win a fair pay rise.
"This is a company which made £94 million profit last year and paid out £15.4 million in bonuses to senior managers. It's a clear case of double standards and trampling those at the bottom for the benefit of those at the top. Enough is enough. It's time to resolve this."
Post office workers have also voted to take industrial action short of strike, which could lead to a ban on selling financial products. The dispute involves up to 4,000 staff across the Crown office network and shows no sign of being resolved.
Kevin Gilliland, network and sales director at the Post Office, said: "We are extremely disappointed at the CWU's decision to call further strike action. This action can only cause disruption to customers, cost our people money and place further pressure on the Crown network which is currently losing £37 million a year.
"We must continue with our plans to turn around the Crown network to ensure we keep these branches on high streets and in city centres across the UK. We remain open to discussions with the CWU on pay options which do not add to the current loss of public money."