Union threatens walkouts over Royal Mail cuts

Marion Dakers
ROYAL MAIL yesterday unveiled plans to axe 1,600 jobs, a move that one union warned could provoke strikes.

The postal company, which said during its privatisation in October that it would be cutting costs, confirmed yesterday the job losses will hit managers in operations and head office.

Royal Mail said that it has “a strong track record of achieving change through natural turnover, redeployment and voluntary redundancy wherever possible”.

Unite, which represents 7,000 Royal Mail managers, described the plans as “ruthless” and a sign that the firm “is now about making profits rather than serving the nation”.

“Unite is demanding a commitment to no compulsory redundancies on fair terms and an effective method for redeployment within the restructured organisation. If Royal Mail refuse we will have no alternative than to consider a ballot for industrial action,” said union officer Brian Scott.

The Communication Workers Union said the news was “deeply concerning”.

Around 300 new or enhanced roles will be created to help offset the cuts, which will eventually save £50m a year. Royal Mail will book a £100m charge to take its total transformation costs to a higher-than-expected £230m this year.

“This is the best way to ensure the continued delivery of the universal service and the good quality jobs we provide for our people,” said chief executive Moya Greene.