Royal Mail to axe 1,700 jobs

Royal Mail is planning to axe 1,700 jobs, including 1,000 managers, and close two mail centres under plans announced tonight.

The company also said that a further 1,700 jobs had been cut since the start of the year in areas including finance, IT, human resources and support services.



The number of employees has been reduced by around 65,000 since 2002.



Two mail centres in London are set to close with the loss of 700 jobs, while 1,000 managers' positions will be cut, it was announced.



Royal Mail said "significant reductions" in the number of mail centres was under way and around half of the 64 centres in 2010 could eventually close by 2016 or sooner.



"With the number of postal items posted in London expected to more than halve between 2006 and 2014, it is imperative that Royal Mail continues the modernisation programme," said the company in a statement.







Royal Mail said it expected to see the phased closure of the East London and South London mail centres to start immediately, leaving five centres in the capital.



The Greater London rationalisation programme is expected to achieve annual savings of £30 million, while £32 million will be invested in the Mount Pleasant site near King's Cross.



Mark Higson, Royal Mail's managing director of operations and modernisation, said: "Royal Mail's modernisation programme, which is vital to ensuring a successful future for the letters and parcels business, depends on having the right number of people in our business, as well as deploying the right technology and equipment.



"We are conscious of the impact today's announcement will have on our staff in London. It is hard to reduce job numbers at any time. We are committed to doing everything we can, in line with our agreement with the union, to make these changes on a voluntary basis.



"We will be providing specialist outplacement advice to help our people affected by this announcement to look for new opportunities outside Royal Mail."

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