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16 May 2012
Post Office workers in Haywards Heath are rolling their sleeves up for an increase in customer numbers now that their crown office has relocated to the high street.
And the main Co-operative retail store in the Sussex town is also looking forward to welcoming new shoppers through its doors under the new shared premises arrangement that was launched yesterday.
CWU territorial counters rep Peter Meech said that both Post Office and the Co-op would benefit from the set up - which reduces running costs, while preserving every job, and all existing terms and conditions and maintains all existing products and services for the public.
"It's definitely a win-win situation," explained Peter, who pointed out that under the initiative, which has been jointly developed by the Co-op, Post Office and the CWU as part of the Crown Transformation programme, opening hours remain the same, and all existing staff remain Post Office employees.
CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey commented: "This is a much better option than franchising and seems to be a clear winner with both the workers - who get greater job security - and the public - who get a brand new Post Office with the full range of products and services.
"And the Post Office and the Co-op share a common public-service ethos, so it's a suitable social fit too," he added.
As well as winning support from the workers, the launch was a hit with the Haywards Heath public too, with queues outside the store at opening time and a bottle of champagne for the first customer through the door.
If business does continue to increase in line with forecasts, Peter said "then we'll be urging management to recruit new staff to keep up with demand