Royal Mail will axe 10,000 full-time staff next year as losses tumble to £350million amid ongoing strike action by workers over pay dispute
- Huge 10,000 job cut are being discussed by Royal Mail’s parent company
- Postal workers have staged fresh strikes in long dispute over pay and conditions
- Communication Workers Union says 115,000 members in UK are taking action
Royal Mail today announced plans to make up to 6,000 people redundant by next August, as it blamed ongoing strike action for rising losses at the business.
The postal company said it will begin notifying workers of its proposals, which aims to reduce its overall headcount by a total of 10,000.
Half of these roles are expected to be axed by March, followed by the final 5,000 by August.
The company said the move is in response to the ‘impact of industrial action, delays in delivering agreed productivity improvements and lower parcel volumes’.
Royal Mail is expected to fall to a £350 million operating loss for the year after being hit by industrial action, parent group International Distributions Services said.
The cuts announcement comes a day after Royal Mail workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) launched a fresh strike in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.
Members of the Communication Workers Union mount a picket line in Farnham, Surrey
Postal workers go on strike outside their workplace at Hatfield in Hertfordshire yesterday
Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson said: ‘This is a very sad day. I regret that we are announcing these job losses.
‘We will do all we can to avoid compulsory redundancies and support everyone affected.
‘We have announced today losses of £219 million in the first half of the year. Each strike day weakens our financial situation.
‘The CWU’s decision to choose damaging strike action over resolution regrettably increases the risk of further headcount reductions.’
Yesterday saw postal workers stage a fresh strike in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions, with a series of 19 further walkouts planned for the coming weeks.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) described the action as the largest strike in a year that has seen industrial unrest across several industries, including rail.
Some 115,000 members across the UK took action yesterday, with picket lines mounted outside Royal Mail offices on what was the sixth strike day in recent months.
Picket lines were also mounted at Bognor Regis in West Sussex, King’s Lynn in Norfolk, Sidcup in Kent, Romsey in Hampshire and Thirsk in North Yorkshire.
Strike action is also taking place among postal workers in Mitcham, South London, yesterday
The union has accused the Royal Mail of planning structural change, which would effectively see employees in secure, well-paid jobs turned into a ‘casualised, financially precarious workforce overnight’.
The CWU said plans include delaying the arrival of post to members of the public by three hours, cuts in workers’ sick pay and inferior terms for new employees.
The union has announced 19 further days of strike action in the build up to the busy Christmas period.
General secretary Dave Ward said: ‘Postal workers face the biggest ever assault on their jobs, terms and conditions in the history of Royal Mail.
‘The public and businesses also face the end of daily deliveries and destruction of the special relationship that postal workers and the public have in every community in the UK.
‘It is insulting the intelligence of every postal worker for Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson to claim that their change agenda is ”modernisation”.’
Communication Workers Union members go on strike at Sheffield City Delivery Office