The postal workers union has warned there could be compulsory redundancies at the Royal Mail sorting office in Bromley By Bow, which is set to close with the loss of an estimated 1500 jobs.
Royal Mail announced the closure of both the centres in Bromley By Bow in Tower Hamlets and another in Nine Elms in South London. The closure means that around 750 jobs will be cut and a further 1000 jobs are at risk.
In a statement the Royal Mail claimed that they will not resort to compulsory redundancies and that workers who wish to stay in the company can, but following the announcement The Communication Workers Union said it did not believe that it can be “managed without compulsory redundancies”.
A CWU spokesperson said: ”Given the number of staff in London, today’s announcement threatens this commitment. We have tabled alternative proposals and are insisting that Royal Mail returns to talks to resolve this issue.”
The closure will mean that the capital now only has five mail centres, which according to CWU will put excessive strain on the remaining mail centres.
The closure of the mail centres is due to Royal Mail’s ‘Rationalisation and Modernisation’ scheme. Because of the overtake of digital communication and a lack of postal items being sent, Royal Mail says that it is “imperative” that they continue their modernisation programme.
Between 2006 and 2014 the items being send by mail is expected to halve, which might result in 50 percent of the current 64 UK centres eventually closing down by 2016 or sooner.
A CWU Spokesperson said: “This is a long process and changes will not happen over night, but we strongly urge them to reconsider their strategy.”
So far the Royal Mail and the union has been working closely together, which has meant that the East London centre will close six months later than planned. CWU plans to monitor the upcoming changes closely.