By Anna Riley
USERS OF the postal service in Leeds could potentially face delays in their mail being delivered in the run up to Christmas.
This comes as a result of a proposed strike action by workers at five Crown-owned Post Office branches in the area and all eight cash centres across the country. If the strikes go ahead, they will start on 19 December and last for up to five days.
Shops will close but the Royal Mail postal service will remain unaffected.
Andy Lee, branch secretary at the Leeds Communications Workers Union (CWU) who are representing workers in the strike said: “Branch workers at Crown owned stores are in a state of unrest as they have been left guessing as to whether their jobs are safe due to the privatisation of many shops through franchising.
“As a result, working for the Post Office is no longer a job for life and staff have decided to rise up.”
However, the Post Office is reassuring customers that it will be business as usual for Christmas in over 97% of its network of 11,600 branches on despite the strike action called by the CWU.
Kevin Gilliland, Post Office, group network and sales director said: “We have robust contingencies that will ensure that all branches have the support and cash they need to operate.
“Experience tells us we can manage this effectively and minimise the impact on the communities who rely on our services.
“We have over 50,000 Post Office people on hand to support customers as they make their preparations for Christmas.”
The latest recommended date for people sending cards is and packages by Royal Mail is 21 December by first class mail.
The proposed branches that will strike in the Leeds are 6 – 16 New York Street, 116 Albion Street, 129a Queens Street, 30 Arndale Centre and 9 Austhorpe Road.
Readers can also visit www.postoffice.co.uk to find out if their usual branch may be affected by action, and for more information on nearest alternative nearby branches and their opening hours.
Yorkshire Voice spoke to members of the public outside Headingley Post Office, one of the branches to be closed if the strike goes ahead. The general view was in support of strike action and customers felt they might not be too badly affected as they had planned ahead. Video interviews below: