Corbyn backs protest over Junction Road post office closure
Union warns that move to nearby convenience store will have impact on staff and customers
18 January, 2019 — By Emily Finch
Upper Holloway is ‘one of the better performing post offices in the country’
JEREMY Corbyn has backed a protest against the closure of a busy Crown post office.
The Labour leader said the office next to Archway station provided a “vital service”.
As first reported in the Tribune last week, the post office is set to close, with services moving to a nearby convenience store.
A six-week public consultation has been launched by the Post Office but the consultation document warns that “the decision to proceed will have already been made”.
Mr Corbyn is supporting plans by the Communication Workers Union to hold a protest at the post office in Junction Road on January 26.
He said: “Post offices play a vital role in communities and on our high streets, and they and their workers must be supported.
“The post office network has faced huge cuts in recent years. A Labour government will halt the closure or franchising of Crown post offices and launch a Post Bank.”
He added: “I support the CWU’s planned protest against the franchising of Upper Holloway post office.”
Crown post offices are directly owned and managed by the Post Office, a publicly owned body.
The CWU argues that workers at franchised shops have fewer rights compared with those working at a Crown post office.
CWU rep for North London Clive Tickner said: “The current staff are unionised and on a reasonable wage. If they transfer they can find themselves on a minimum wage.
“I’m worried for the customers as well because staff at the current store have 100 years of experience between them.
“Their store is one of the better performing post offices in the country.”
Councillors also opposed the planned move this week.
Junction ward councillor Kaya Comer-Schwartz said: “We are deeply concerned about what the proposed changes could mean for residents and staff.
“We are particularly concerned as to whether the significantly smaller location would offer the same level of services and accessibility for customers, and that existing jobs at the Crown post office will be protected.
“We have written to the Post Office to raise our concerns and to seek clarification about how these changes may affect residents.”
The CWU will lead the protest outside the post office at 14 Junction Road next Saturday (January 26) from 9.30am to 12.30pm.