POST office workers in Hillingdon gained public support as they joined thousands of colleagues around the country on strike in a dispute over jobs, closures and pay.
On Tuesday last week, staff from the 373 Crown Post Offices across the length and breadth of the country took part in the latest in a series of walk-outs in protest against the franchising or closure of 76 branches, and a four-year pay freeze.
One of those scheduled for franchising – moving the public counter into a non-Post Office owned shop – is the office in Field End Road, Eastcote.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) from the office braved the rain to lobby passers-by, and said they were overwhelmed with the level of support.
In less than three hours, more than 300 people signed the petition opposing the Post Office’s plans to downgrade the service in Eastcote.
The CWU representative for Eastcote, Dave Smith, said: “People have seen what franchising means in Ruislip, Hayes and Uxbridge, and they don’t want it to happen in Eastcote.
“It’s no secret that the service does suffer. The franchised offices don’t offer the range of services as Crown offices.
“Many people working in a franchise don’t earn as much, and the priority of a retailer is their shop, not the post office.
“If the retailer decides to pull out of the franchise then you won’t have a post office in that area. We can’t just stand back and let them do this.”