Post office branches in Stoke-Newington, Stamford Hill, and New Cross Gate are on a list of 37 branches across the country which will close or be offered as franchises, the Post Office has announced.
The decision to discontinue direct management of the branches has been justified because of expectations that they are “going to make losses” in the future due to rising property taxes and customers increasingly doing business on the internet. According to a press release from the Post Office, “franchising helps us to keep services where our customers want and need them”.
A Post Office spokesperson insisted that they are “confident” all 37 Post Offices will be entrusted to a franchise partner, adding that they would keep all affected staff fully informed as they developed their plans, which would secure the future of 11,600 branches.
In 2016 the Post Office announced the closure of 93 branches, some of which have been relocated into retail stores like WH Smith.
The Communication Workers Union estimates however the latest closures will cause the loss of 300 staff, and 127 specialist roles. Dave Ward, General Secretary of the CWU; said: “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.”
The CWU staged a five-day strike just before Christmas in part as a response to these on-going closures. In total 2,000 Post Office workers have lost their jobs since the beginning of last year.
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