Royal Mail is set to cut as many as 6,000 jobs over the next year and there could be more redundancies ahead as the industrial dispute gripping the company shows no sign of easing.
The company’s chief executive, Simon Thompson, said the cuts would not affect the frequency of London’s daily post. “There is no plan that we have in regard to stopping the daily delivery of letters in London.” He added that the company did not regret its requirement to provide the UK’s nationwide postal, the so-called universal service obligation, and that it was positive for the company. “We have always been proud to be the USO provider and actually a combined delivery of letters and smaller parcels is a good competitive advantage.”
He added that the job cuts announcement “is not about letters, it’s about parcels. More of our revenue is coming from parcels and that is the competitive part of the market. Back in 2005, we used to deliver 20 billion letters a year, now we are at around 8 billion. We are now a parcels business that also delivers letters.”
Recently postal workers at Royal Mail launched a 24-hour strike in a dispute over pay and conditions. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said the move would be the first of 19 days of strike action in the run up to the Christmas period. In a statement, Royal Mail said: “We will be starting the process of consulting on rightsizing the business in response to the impact of industrial action, delays in delivering agreed productivity improvements and lower parcel volumes.”