Consignia defends its redundancy approach

Consignia has defended its approach to staff consultation following the
announcement last week that it could cut 30,000 jobs.

John Roberts, chief executive of Consignia, told a House of Commons select
committee that to achieve the £1.2bn cost saving target by April 2003, up to 15
per cent of the workforce could be made redundant.

The state-owned Post Office group has faced criticism for announcing the
plans for swingeing job cuts without forewarning or consulting with postal
unions.

Roberts stressed that no final decisions had been taken on possible job
losses, and pledged that cuts would be attempted through natural wastage and
voluntary redundancy. Up to 20,000 staff leave Consignia every year due to new
jobs or retirement.

The Communication Workers Union threatened industrial action if there were
compulsory losses. Roberts said, "We haven’t got a firm figure for future
job losses. What I can give is an assurance that the CWU will be fully
consulted when we have firm proposals.

"What we want to do is agree a new framework with the union for
managing future job losses."

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