Postmasters reject proposal on the future of post offices

Union members say An Post threatened to terminate contracts if they did not co-operate

The An Post logo. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The An Post logo. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Postmasters have voted to reject An Post proposals on the future of post offices citing anger at the company’s attitude to changes in the business.

At a meeting in Athlone, Co Westmeath, on Sunday members of the Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU) said An Post had written to them in the last two weeks threatening to terminate their contracts if they did not attend training on handling new current accounts.

An Post chief executive David McRedmond has already told workers the company would make a loss again next year despite the 28 cent rise in the cost of a stamp unless action was taken. Part of that action is the operation of a new current account for customers, in a move designed to offer competition to the banks.

IPU general secretary Ned O’Hara said members should not co-operate with the roll-out of the new Smart account. He said the union had twice voted at its annual conference not to co-operate on the training of postmasters to operate the new account, without an agreement on the future structure of the post office network.

On Sunday, Mr O’Hara said An Post’s subsequent decision to “threaten” to terminate their contracts was a step too far. He said: “We need to agree and introduce a mechanism of payment to Postmasters for the core social services they provide. Minister Naughten needs to address this issue. A much better plan is possible, and is required, if we are to keep Post Offices open in communities.”

The IPU is meeting with Minister for Communications Denis Naughten on Thursday and will be asking him to intervene and invest in the network.