By Daniel Hunter

Thousands of Post Office staff will strike on Easter Saturday in a dispute over closures, jobs and pay.

The Communication Workers Union served notice to Post Office Ltd late on Thursday of the intention to strike. It follows an 88% vote in favour of strike action and a refusal from the Post Office to negotiate.

4,000 Post Office staff working in the network of 373 Crown offices, which handle 20% of all Post Office business, will strike on Easter Saturday.

The strike is in opposition to Post Office plans to close or franchise 76 Crown offices, to protect jobs and services, and secure a fair pay rise for staff who have had no rise since April 2011.

"With Post Office management refusing to negotiate, and with such a huge vote in favour of strike action, we have had no choice but to serve notice for strike action," Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said.

"The patience and loyalty of our Post Office members has been abused by Post Office management. This dispute is about protecting jobs and services as well as securing a fair pay increase for our members. We're saying to the public: if you value your post office, support these workers on Easter Saturday and beyond."

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