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Westport Post Office to change hands


An Post commits to continuing ‘top class service’

Ciara Galvin

WESTPORT Post Office is set to be taken over by a contractor and will no longer be run by An Post itself.
The post office, which is located in an iconic building on the North Mall in the town, will soon be advertised for a contractor to take over the running of it and will become one of 1,126 offices nationwide that are run by contractors. Approximately only 50 post offices in the country will still be run An Post.
According to a statement from An Post, the change in business model of the office will not change the range or extent of the services offered by An Post. However, concerns have been expressed by some locals who fear that when post offices are downgraded, this may result in a loss of jobs.
Speaking to The Mayo News about the change, Angus Laverty of An Post said Westport Post Office is only in the early stages of a changeover and staff at the office were only notified last week.
Asked if the change would bring about a loss in jobs, Mr Laverty said staff could work for the new contractor or choose to be deployed, among other options, and added that these changes would not take place without the ‘full agreement’ of staff.
“The only change is how the office will be run. Today it’s a post master, tomorrow it’s a branch manager,” said Mr Laverty.

Good business opportunity
He went on to describe the change in business model as a ‘good business opportunity’ in Westport.
It is not yet known if Westport Post Office will remain in its purpose built home at North Mall, where it has been since 1901, but the An Post statement said: “Changing the business model of a post office does not impact on the level or variety of services which are available to customers of that location. In many cases the premises and facilities available have been improved. We will continue to provide a top class service.”
It stated that An Post, as a commercial semi-state company, has an obligation to operate in a ‘commercial manner’.
“In reviewing the company staff network we looked at it from a commercial point of view.
This led, in 2002, to an agreement with the Communication Workers Union for an initial change programme in up to 50 offices. This process has continued to the present day.”
Offices in the current round of conversions along with Westport, include Tuam, Newbridge, Phibsboro, Rathmines, Youghal and Shannon.

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