Royal Mail may be forced to lose one-third of the workforce in their letters division. The beleagured group must make cost savings of Â£300m before the end of this year, under the terms of a Â£3.9bn rescue payout from the government. Unions have been warned of the loss of 48,000 jobs over the next five years as the group moves to better automation to try to compete in an increasingly pressured marketplace. Four mail centres are also to close because of loss of business to competitors: unions have speculated that closures could in fact be more widespread.
Postal news site Hellmail suggest that the cuts will “see less deliveries a week and the loss of Saturday deliveries altogether”.
Ian Griffiths, the MD of the letters division, quit his job yesterday: inevitably, that is now assumed to be related to today’s announcement. The letters operation is now being controlled directly by Chief Executive Adam Crozier until a replacement for Mr Griffiths can be found. With RM famously quoting that they lose 6p on every letter they deliver, it would be very surprising if any rats wanted to get back on to the sinking ship.