Postal unions have reacted angrily and raised the prospect of industrial action after Royal Mail announced plans to cut 1,600 jobs in the postal group’s first big round of redundancies since it was privatised in October.
The company said the cuts would affect managers, mainly from backroom operations and head office, with no impact on staff who sort and deliver mail. About 300 new or expanded jobs will be created, taking the net number of leavers to 1,300 out of a workforce of 150,000.
The Unite union condemned what it sees as callous treatment of employees, who it said deserved better. The union, which represents 7,000 Royal Mail managers, said if management made forced redundancies it would consider balloting for strikes.
Brian Scott, Unite’s officer for Royal Mail, said: “First the government sells off Royal Mail on the cheap and now the newly privatised service is ruthlessly sacrificing jobs.