Crown Post Office staff go on strike

A Post Office
Image caption Crown Post Offices are the larger offices found within the Post Office network

Staff at some of the UK's largest post offices are taking industrial action in a growing dispute over closures, franchising, jobs and pay.

The day-long strike on Tuesday will cover about 370 Crown Post Offices - 70 of which are due to be franchised or partnered with a retailer.

Crown Post Offices are the bigger branches found on high streets.

The Post Office said the action was extremely disappointing and that the strike would affect 3% of branches.

The network is losing £40m a year, so officials plan to close a handful of Crown Post Offices and have begun the process of looking for retailers to run 70 more.

Fourth strike

The main postal union - the Communication Workers Union (CWU) - warns this could hit 800 jobs.

Crown offices are branches directly managed by the company, as opposed to locally run by sub-post offices.

The CWU said the branches handle about a fifth of Post Office business and 40% of financial services sales.

Tuesday's strike will be the fourth time postal workers have taken industrial action since Easter.

Around 150 Crown Post Offices were forced to close their doors during the last strike.

Meanwhile, the CWU is already in dispute with the Post Office over pay.

The CWU claims staff have not had a pay rise for two years and is calling for a rise in consolidated pay.

But the Post Office has said a pay offer of three cash payments was "extremely fair".

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