As many as 6,000 Royal Mail staff could lose their job by next summer as the firm tries to counter losses driven by strike action and stunted growth plans.
The firm said that it expects its full year adjusted operating loss to tumble to £350m, including the direct, immediate impact of eight days of industrial action which have taken place or been notified to Royal Mail, but excluding any charges for voluntary redundancy costs.
In a trading update this morning, it also warned this loss could increase to around £450m if customers move volume away for longer periods following the initial disruption.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) kicked off its planned 19 day strike action yesterday over worker pay.
Royal Mail said today if these strikes go ahead in full “the loss for the full year would increase materially and may necessitate further operational restructuring and headcount reduction”.
“The ongoing uncertainty means that the Board is unable to give a clear outlook for the full year,” it added.
To combat this loss, it said between 5,000-6,000 full time jobs will need to be culled by March 2023 “to better match our costs to current parcel and letter volumes”. Another 5,000 are set to leave voluntarily.
Commenting on Royal Mail’s plans, CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “The announcement is the result of gross mismanagement and a failed business agenda of ending daily deliveries, a wholesale levelling-down of the terms, pay and conditions of postal workers, and turning Royal Mail into a gig economy style parcel courier.
“What the company should be doing is abandoning its asset-stripping strategy and building the future based on utilising the competitive edge it already has in its deliveries to 32 million addresses across the country.”
The CWU said it is calling for an urgent meeting with the Board and will put forward an alternative business plan at that meeting.
“This announcement is holding postal workers to ransom for taking legal industrial action against a business approach that is not in the interests of workers, customers or the future of Royal Mail. This is no way to build a company,’ Ward added.