150 UK Royal Mail jobs are at risk, warns union

Trade union chiefs have vowed to oppose planned job losses at the Royal Mail sorting office in Belfast after it emerged that up to 150 jobs are at risk.

Staff were called in by managers yesterday and told that changes were planned in the way undeliverable mail was to be treated, and jobs must go.

Surprised Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) officials were unable to tell their members the extent of the cuts, but staff fear as much as half their workload could disappear, equating to about 150 jobs.

The job losses are planned following a recent Royal Mail review which found that the handling of undeliverable, return to sender and forwarded mail at the National Return Letter Centre in Tomb Street currently costs the company £10m each year.

A Royal Mail spokesman confirmed that staff numbers would be cut as part of a review of procedures at the centre.

“Clearly, we cannot continue to carry these costs and we therefore plan to change the way we handle this type of mail,” he said.

“These changes, which are supported by Postcomm and Postwatch, will mean a reduction in the volume of work carried out at the National Return Letter Centre, based in Belfast, and will, regrettably, lead to some job losses.

“However, we are working on a number of fronts to bring alternative work to the National Return Letter Centre in order to minimise the impact on our employees and we cannot give any precise figures until this work is completed.”

A CWU spokesman said the union would fight any job cuts.

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