The Highlands Main Post Office has closed as the Communications Workers Union strike over wages hits city outlets across Scotland and the UK

Queensgate Post Office.Picture: Gary Anthony.

The largest branch of the Highland Post Office was closed today due to a nationwide pay strike.

The Inverness Post Office in Queensgate is one of 10 PO Scottish branches and 114 across the UK closed due to industrial action by members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

The dispute also closed branches in Kirkwall and Stornoway.

A number of customers in the city who were unaware of the closure took to social media to express their displeasure after showing up to find locked doors at the city center premises.

A Post Office spokesperson said: ‘We want to assure our customers that the vast majority of our 11,500 branches are unaffected by the CWU’s decision to ask their members to go on strike on Tuesday May 3 and will remain open all day.

“There are 114 branches – usually in city centers – across the UK which are directly operated by Post Office.

“We are sorry that customers at Inverness Post Office have been affected.

“The nearest alternative branch is Merkinch, 1 Lochalsh Road IV3 8HU, less than a mile away.

“It’s open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today.”

Last month, CWU members voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.

The union said the strike was over a pay freeze for 2021 and the offer of a 2% raise from April this year, alongside a one-off £250 lump sum.

Union officials said the offer was “exceptionally poor” amid the cost of living crisis.

CWU official Andy Furey said: “Despite this union’s best attempts to avoid a strike, the Post Office has shown no interest in serious negotiations.

“As such, workers have delivered an overwhelming strike mandate.

“The current offer of a pay raise of just 2% over two years is nothing short of an insult to those key workers who have provided exemplary service to this nation during the pandemic.

“As the cost of living crisis deepens, workers across the country are facing harsh realities.

“This is no less true for the employees of La Poste, who deserve much better than the degrading offer currently on the table.

“The Post Office management needs to understand that by undervaluing these workers, they have caused real anger across the country.

“We urge them to come to the table with us and reach a decent and fair deal that shows respect for Britain’s key workers who have kept post offices open for business during the pandemic.”

The conflict involves counter staff, as well as clerical, administrative and call center staff.

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