Royal Mail has announced plans to make up to 6,000 staff redundant as part of a restructure of its business.
In a trading update released today (14 October), the delivery company said it would start a consulting process on “rightsizing” the business, blaming delays in achieving productivity improvements and lower parcel volumes.
It added that ongoing strike action by members of the Communication Workers Union would “materially increase” its losses for the financial year, which it already expects to hit £350 million.
If CWU goes ahead with its remaining planned strike days, this loss could reach £450 million, the company said. The first of a new round of strikes began yesterday, with CWU estimating around 115,000 members would walk out.
This follows strikes in August and early September over pay and conditions.
Royal Mail said it would aim to reduce redundancies through a reduction in overtime, temporary staff and natural attrition, but based on current estimates it would be likely that between 5,000 and 6,000 staff could be made redundant by August 2023.
“We will do all we can to avoid compulsory redundancies, including offering a voluntary redundancy scheme,” the statement said.
“The financial position of the business means that our legacy voluntary redundancy policy, which offered up to two years’ pay, is now unaffordable. We will consult with CWU on any new voluntary redundancy arrangements.”
“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.”
— The CWU (@CWUnews) October 14, 2022
It urged the CWU to call off further days of strike action and take up its offer of negotiations with conciliation service Acas.
The CWU said the company was “holding postal workers to ransom for taking legal industrial action against a business approach that is not in the interests of its workers, customers or the future of Royal Mail”.
General secretary Dave Ward said the restructure was “the result of gross mismanagement and a failed business agenda of ending daily deliveries, levelling-down of terms, pay and conditions of postal workers, and turning Royal Mail into a gig economy style parcel courier”.