Rainham and Dagenham MP supports campaign against 'franchising' of post offices to WHSmith
PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 December 2018
Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas has pledged his support to a campaign which aims to prevent Crown Post Offices from becoming part of the WHSmith chain.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) #SaveOurPostOffice campaign aims to stop 60 per cent of the Crown Network which existed in 2013 from disappearing following years of incremental privatisation.
Mr Cruddas met with members of the CWU East London Postal branch to discuss the campaign and the potential impacts on more than 800 staff across the 74 Crown Post Office sites on Friday, November 30.
He said: “Franchising is nothing but back door privatisation and research shows that franchising the Crown Post Offices to WHSmith could lead to a sub-standard service, reduced counter services, staff redundancies, and the watering down of workers terms and conditions.”
In 2013, Mr Cruddas fought alongside the union in a bid to save the Dagenham Heathway Crown Office which might be sold to private company and franchised.
“It looks to me like the only beneficiary of this move will be WHSmith, who are seemingly being bailed out of their failing business model with £30 million of public money,” said Mr Cruddas.
Councillor Lee Waker, CWU East London Postal Branch, said: “Handing over profit-making Crown Post Offices to a failing retailer, whose business model is based on low wage part-time employment is not an answer to anything.
“My union are fighting against this and calling on the government to step in to halt this privatisation.”
A demonstration to #SaveOurPostOffice will be taking place on Saturday, December 8, outside the Crown Post Office in Kingsland High Street from 98.
To find out more about the campaign visit here
Cllr Phil Waker from the CWU added: “There’s a bigger picture here, and this move is just another in a long line of poor decisions which are driving down pay and working conditions. There is scope for Crown Post Offices to offer more government services to make them sustainable in the long term.”
WHSmith declined to comment until they know the outcome of the public consultation.
To sign Mr Cruddas’ petition visit here