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14 Oct 2022

Mark Sweney, The Guardian

UK: Royal Mail may cut up to 10,000 roles, blaming industrial action & declining parcel volumes

"Royal Mail to cut up to 10,000 roles, blaming strikes and lower parcel volumes", 14 October 2022

Royal Mail said it may need to cut up to 10,000 roles by next August, blaming strike action by its workers and the continuing decline of its core business.

In an unscheduled trading update a day after Royal Mail workers staged a 24-hour strike over pay and conditions, its parent company International Distributions Services said thousands of roles would have to go at Royal Mail because of damage and disruption caused by industrial action, as well as declining parcel volumes....

[Royal Mail] said that it was looking at making redundant up to 6,000 full-time frontline jobs in delivery and processing by the end of August next year.

Overall, Royal Mail said it is seeking an overall reduction of 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) roles over the same period, and said more might have to go if new strike dates are announced. This includes cutting overtime, temporary staff roles and not filling roles when employees leave the business. In total, Royal Mail employs about 140,000 people...

It is the latest move in the bitter row between Royal Mail and the Communications Workers Union (CWU). The union accuses the company of planning structural changes, which would in effect transform employees in secure, well-paid jobs into a “casualised, financially precarious workforce overnight”. The company says it must modernise in order to run a more productive and competitive service.

Responding to the job cuts announcement, the CWU called for an urgent meeting with management and accused Royal Mail of holding postal workers to ransom and turning the company into a “gig economy-style parcel courier”...

Royal Mail said eight days of industrial action had taken place or been notified to the company by the CWU, with a further 16 days of potential strike action planned for November and December.

“If these take place, the loss for the full year would increase materially and may necessitate further operational restructuring and headcount reduction,” the company said. “We will also continue to push for talks with CWU at Acas, which need to be time bound as the damage from further strikes will only necessitate further changes in the business, beyond those already announced.”...