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Swiss Cottage and East Finchley post offices brought to standstill in strike against privatisation

PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 April 2013

Signatures are collected on a petition outside Swiss Cottage Post Office during the strike

Signatures are collected on a petition outside Swiss Cottage Post Office during the strike

Archant

Two post offices were brought to a standstill as workers went on strike in an attempt to stop them being privatised.

Staff at Swiss Cottage and East Finchley post offices downed tools on Saturday (March 30).

The industrial action, which affected most of the country’s 370 crown post offices owned by the Post Office itself, was organised by the CWU (Communication Workers Union) after 88 per cent of its members voted to strike.

The action was taken over the Post Office’s plans to close 70 crown post offices – including branches in Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage, and High Road, East Finchley, and replace them with franchises in other shops.

There was also a protest outside Swiss Cottage post office, during which staff collected around 1,000 signatures.

CWU rep Gary Watt said: “People were worried about the staff, who are loyal and dedicated and have built up a special relationship with the customers.”

The 370 crown branches are currently operating at a £40million-a-year loss.

Bosses say franchising 70 of them will help recoup losses and enable post office services to be modernised.

It costs the Post Office £1.81 to generate every £1 of income at Swiss Cottage, and £1.60 at East Finchley – a situation it says “cannot continue”.


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