‘Save Post Of­fice’ bid

Sunday Express - - SYMPATHY FOR MEGHAN - By Jon Austin

PLANS to fran­chise 74 Post Of­fice branches to re­tail chain WH Smith could kill off the iconic in­sti­tu­tion, pro­test­ers warned yes­ter­day.

The Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Work­ers Union (CWU), cam­paign­ing to save the “great Bri­tish in­sti­tu­tion”, held demon­stra­tions at nearly 50 lo­ca­tions.

Union gen­eral sec­re­tary Dave Ward said: “We are hold­ing dozens of events, from Truro to Aberdeen, in ev­ery re­gion of the United King­dom, to en­gage with mem­bers of the pub­lic about this lat­est shame­ful round of planned clo­sures.

“Peo­ple are sick and tired of the bro­ken pri­vati­sa­tion agenda that is be­hind this lat­est move. We hope many will join our cam­paign to save our post of­fices.”

The union is also gath­er­ing names for a pe­ti­tion in a bid to force a par­lia­men­tary de­bate on the fu­ture of post of­fices. A WH Smith spokesman said: “We have suc­cess­fully op­er­ated post of­fices in our stores since 2006 and are pleased to sup­port a sus­tain­able net­work.

“Post of­fices are a vi­tal hub, pro­vid­ing es­sen­tial ser­vices to the com­mu­nity, and we take the so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as­so­ci­ated with this very se­ri­ously.”

The Post Of­fice has more than 11,500 branches in the UK

Its net­work sales di­rec­tor Roger Gale said: “We are not im­mune to the chal­lenges fac­ing re­tail­ers in lo­cal high streets.

“We must adapt to chang­ing cus­tomer needs by mak­ing our ser­vices more ac­ces­si­ble to cus­tomers, for in­stance, through longer open­ing hours.

“That is why we are propos­ing to fran­chise a fur­ther 74 di­rectly man­aged branches to WH Smith.”

‘The peo­ple are sick and tired’

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