Unite the union pledged today (Tuesday 25 January) to fight plans by the Royal Mail to axe 700 managerial jobs, after a £400 million giveaway to key shareholders.

Unite said its members were being made the scapegoat for the bosses’ failure to maintain deliveries during the two-year old pandemic which has led to the possibility of fines from the regulator Ofcom.

The union, which represents thousands of Royal Mail managers, said today’s restructuring announcement could impact up to 900 of its members overall in the delivery division and the threat of an industrial action ballot was now on the cards.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Coming on top of a record turn-around in the company’s fortunes, which resulted in the board handing over a £400 million giveaway to certain shareholders, this is cold comfort for those long months when postal employees were being badly hit by coronavirus at its worst.

“Unite will be giving maximum support to our members in fighting these unjust job cuts and this includes the possibility of an industrial action ballot. Now is the time for the top executives to reconsider their proposals.”

Chair of the Unite CMA FTR committee Gary Sassoon-Hales said: “We are appalled with the announcement today. The Royal Mail is running out of excuses when it comes to the rationale for management reviews. Our members can be forgiven for feeling that those working from home have been plotting to remove those who turn up and have ensured the future of this business during the pandemic.

“Unite CMA has not agreed with these proposals and will now enter into consultation. We will be feeding back the outcome of the consultation to our members who will then decide on what action to take next.”

Unite national lead officer for the CMA Mike Eatwell said: “Unite managers were no more immune from the risks of the pandemic than anyone else, but that did not stop them helping on delivery rounds when postal operatives numbers were severely depleted. The current leadership team’s fixation on headlines to shore up the share price is behind this latest attack on our members’ job security and we need to respond accordingly.”

Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers' living standards.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Email: [email protected]

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Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.