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MORE than 50 members of The Communications Union (CWU), who represent staff at Bromsgrove's High Street post office, took to the streets at the weekend to protest against its closure.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward and national officer Andy Furey were among those to join the People’s Post campaign on Saturday, June 4, in response to January’s announcement that the branch would be franchised.
Since then, hundreds of residents have signed petitions against the closure, with many raising concerns about the potential loss of services and the accessibility and location of the new franchise.
Sue Trehearne, CWU area representative, said: “We did it to raise awareness to the public of Bromsgrove and try to get them to write to their MP to put him on the spot and ask for a meeting. From our point of view if the business is saying we can’t afford the property cost and the location, then let’s look at other options. It doesn’t have to be franchised off - we could look at co-hosting.”
There are currently nine members of staff at the Bromsgrove branch who, the CWU say, will be faced with a choice between redundancy, redeployment or transfer.
She added: “Staff are still happy to be in employment, of course they are, but they want to know what their fate is.
“If it goes get shoved into the back of a retailer it is a loss of service. It’s not going to be the same as going in to your own dedicated post office. It won’t be all the same staff – some transfer, some don’t. But overnight you can lose years and years of counter experience – gone. And that’s a shame for customers.”
According to Ms Trehearne, passers-by were very critical of their MP Sajid Javid, who she says should be supporting the protests.
Sajid Javid said: “Maintaining the same standard of service is paramount for our busy town centre. Before any decisions are taken I want all possible options to be considered for keeping the current location of the office.
"I have already written to Post Office Ltd on the matter and will be meeting shortly with their regional representative. I am also meeting with the Communication Workers Union."
Once the Post Office has chosen a suitable franchise partner, the decision will be subject to a six-week public consultation where residents are encouraged to express their views.
The Post Office has not indicated when this decision will be made.