Union angered by Royal Mail shake-up plans
Industrial action threatened as managers are told they must reapply for their own jobs
Sunday 15 October 2006
The Royal Mail is forcing managers to reapply for their jobs, putting it on a collision course with a leading union and at risk of industrial action.
The state-owned postal service is reviewing its management structure, and has asked a number of managers to reapply as part of the process.
A spokesman said: "Royal Mail is facing tremendous challenges and changes. This effects everybody in the com-pany. Our managers, just as much as our postmen, are committed to making sure that we're delivering customer service and the right leadership.
"We're committed to supporting and developing all the people who want to remain in the business."
The Royal Mail has 1,500 delivery offices, each of which has at least one manager. Insiders say the Royal Mail is seeking only to shake up the management structure, and is not looking to cut jobs.
But Amicus, which represents Royal Mail managers, is worried that jobs will still be lost and has not ruled out industrial action.
Brian Scott, assistant national secretary, said the union had already held meetings with the Royal Mail but so far had failed to come to an agreement.
"We're objecting on the basis that members may end up out of work," he said. "It's also about being assessed for your own job, and we feel that's unnecessary. It's all unnecessary, costly and very concerning. We're hoping that [industrial action] won't be necessary, but it's something that we won't rule out.
"The discussions will continue over the next couple of weeks and then we will take stock and see where we are. We're not looking for trouble but it could ultimately lead to that," he said.
The Royal Mail has been through a dramatic transformation in the past few years. Under chairman Allan Leighton and chief executive Adam Crozier, the once-ailing business has been returned to the black. It also secured concessions from the Government, including using a previously ring-fenced £850m to prop up its gaping pension deficit and a cash injection to help modernise sorting systems.
But the process has not been without pain. Working practices have been overhauled and 30,000 jobs axed. Other changes included scrapping the second post and introducing new ways of charging for post.
Problems still remain. As well as its £5.6bn pension deficit, the Royal Mail's monopoly ended at the start of this year and it has locked horns with the Communication Workers Union, which also represents Royal Mail staff.
So far this year, the CWU has expressed concern and threatened action over pay levels and plans to offer shares in the company to staff, believing it is a step towards privatisation.
The Royal Mail spokesman said that the company would "continue to involve" unions in talks.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
iJobs Money & Business
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...