90 postal jobs under threat
Sanchez Manning MORE than 90 post office workers are facing redundancy in north Westminster under Royal Mail s plans to axe up to 16,000 jobs nationally, it was claimed this week. Proposals have been made to slash between 10 and 20 per cent of the workfor
MORE than 90 post office workers are facing redundancy in north Westminster under Royal Mail's plans to axe up to 16,000 jobs nationally, it was claimed this week.
Proposals have been made to slash between 10 and 20 per cent of the workforce, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) said.
In Marylebone up to 65 jobs are expected to go, along with 10 staff in Paddington, and 16 workers in St John's Wood and Maida Vale.
A Royal Mail spokesperson admitted they are looking at ways to reduce costs but denied any plans to make compulsory redundancies.
But unions are preparing to fight the proposed cuts, which they say is further evidence that the company's top brass are more interested in profits than providing a good service.
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John Simkins, the CWU's London divisional representative, attacked Royal Mail bosses for taking a factory approach to the business.
"People we have at the top now are not interested in providing a public service," he said.
"Their whole aim is to make money and what's annoying is the amount of money these people are getting.
"They're the highest paid public employees in the country."
It is believed the job losses are part of a drive by Royal Mail to reduce its wage bill by �470million.
Mr Simkins branded the move an insult considering the company made a �250million profit last year.
Workers are equally angry at the effects of the continuing cost-saving measures on their industry.
Postman Ray Bunning, who has worked for 26 years at the sorting office in Paddington earmarked for closure, says the staff cuts have had devastating consequences.
"When I first started in Paddington there were 107 deliveries.
"We now have 45," he said.
"So in 25 years we've lost half of our delivery people and this means a massive increase in the workload for the people who are left.
"This used to be a job that people loved to do and now it's almost as if they dread coming into work sometimes.
"It was a government job, almost a job for life.
"But for me the security I had as a postman, and after working for 26 years, I don't believe I've got a secure job with the Royal Mail."
Mr Bunning also mourns the loss of the personal relationship with his customers.
"Before, I loved doing my deliveries," he said.
"People became like friends - you're almost a cross between a social worker and a family friend.
"But we've totally lost the feeling of being a public service and just become a business."
A spokesman for Royal Mail said: "We have not announced any confirmed job losses in these areas, however we continue to talk with our people and the unions on the need to cut overheads and central costs.
"Indeed, we have a strong track record of avoiding compulsory redundancies.
"In the current economic climate - and with a rapidly declining market - we are always looking at ways to reduce costs while at the same time safeguarding services to our customers.