Post Office staff threatened to strike yesterday after it was revealed that 70 post offices would open in WH Smith high street stores.

The Communications Workers Union said that as many as 3,000 jobs would be axed because of the deal and that its members would be consulted for national strike action.

“This is a devastating blow for employees and customers alike and the sole reason to these plans is for profit purposes only. Specialist, highly skilled staff who have provided years of dedicated service are now being substituted for inexperienced staff on poverty wages,” said CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey.