Post Office Strikes at Christmas

Posted by Sophie Regester in Personal Finance on 19 December 2016 - Sophie is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

When you hear that there is to be a Post Office strike the week before Christmas it can cause fear to rise and panic to set in, especially if you have yet to drop off your parcels to send to family members and friends in other parts of the country.

Firstly, naughty naughty - you are leaving it a little late aren’t you? Secondly, take a breath, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. The strike involves Post Office counters rather than post persons, so anything already on its way will be unaffected.

Another thing to bear in mind is that not all Post Offices are involved, only Crown Post Offices which are the larger branches, not the village Post Office or the counter in your local Smiths. In fact, 97% of branches are not involved in the strike action so chances are you will be able to find a Post Office to take your parcels off your hands.

The Communication Workers Union walkout is set to run from today, Monday 19 December, until Christmas Eve, the following Saturday. The action is due to a dispute over branch closures, Jobs and pensions. The dispute has been ongoing since April 2016, when the Post Office announced a 10-year plan to cut costs including transferring up to 61 branches into WH Smith stores. The Post Office is reportedly disappointed at the latest strike announcement, especially as they had agreed to resume talks just the week before.

Personally, I do have some sympathy with the workers and can understand their timing. If you really want to hit your bosses where it hurts, what better time than when your company is most in need and your action is sure to hit headlines? How many supporters they will gain though is unknown, depends if little Jimmy receives his lightsabre in time for Crimbo. As Macaulay Culkin’s character famously says in Home Alone, “You can mess with a lot of things, but you can't mess with kids on Christmas.”

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