UNI Post & Logistics affiliates Unite-CMA and The Communication Workers Union are on strike , 31 October, as their members walked off jobs in the UK Post Office in a dispute over the future of their pensions scheme, post office closures, and job losses.
Post Office management are driving through changes that would close the define benefit pension scheme for workers and replace it with an inferior define contribution plan. The changes in pension scheme come despite the current plan running a surplus which is expected to last at least until 2022.
The recent UNI Post & Logistics World Conference adopted an emergency resolution in support of Unite and the CWU's dispute with Post Office management. The conference noted that the current crisis has its roots in the Government's separating the Post Office from Royal Mail Group in advance of the latter's privatisation. Furthermore, it is clear that the Government has resisted efforts by the unions to spur investment and innovation in the post office network.
"Britons are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Royal Mail this year," remarked UNI P&L Head Stephen DeMatteo. "But our affiliates' members in the Post Office aren't celebrating. After being spun off to allow the privatisation of the Royal Mail, these workers are facing incredible hostility from the Government and Post Office management in terms of closures, job loss and the elimination of their pensions. We fully support CWU and Unite in their struggle to stand up for their members in the Post Office. And we join them in calling on the Government to convene all parties to have a meaningful discussion about the future of this cherished national treasure and ensure a business strategy that preserves quality service, good jobs and the decent conditions these workers deserve."
The strike action 31 October is the second in this dispute, following a day of action in mid-September.