ALMOST 40 of the Post Office’s flagship centres are to close in a move branded “stunning arrogance” by union leaders.
A total of 37 Crown offices are to shut, with the loss of 300 staff across the UK.
Three Scottish branches are affected, including sites in Dundee’s Meadowside, Garrison Place, Falkirk, and the Morningside Road office in Edinburgh.
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As many as 62 branches had already been scheduled to shut and the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents Post Office staff, said the new cuts heap more “misery” on employees and customers.
Deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger said: “The arrogance of the Post Office and government is stunning.
“The Post Office network has been reduced by more than 50 per cent over the past 30 years and continues to be run down.
“It requires a proper business plan for growth and investment which is being ignored.”
A total of 127 financial specialist jobs will also be axed despite a campaign by the union in opposition at losses to the service. Sackfuls of postcards from members of the public in support of this campaign were delivered to the Business Department before Christmas.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward: “The latest round of closures is further evidence that the Post Office is in crisis and that the board of the company, backed by the government, is simply pursuing a strategy of slash and burn.
“75,000 postcards were returned to the government signed by members of the public calling for an end to the closure and franchise programme. The Post Office and the government have completely ignored their views.
“The CWU will not accept this and we will be stepping up our political and industrial campaign to fight for the future of the Post Office.”
The Post Office said it will be seeking “partners” for 37 of its directly managed branches, in addition to 93 previously announced last year, almost half of which have now relocated into retail stores.
Sales and trade marketing director Roger Gale said: “We’re committed to maintaining the Post Office’s special place on the high street and the changes we are making underpin our continued commitment to give communities in every part of the country access to essential services.”
Gill Furniss, shadow minister for postal services, said: “The government is not serious about providing a long-term sustainable future for the Post Office, and even less so about taking on board the views of the public or Post Office workers.”