UK's Royal Mail to make 6,000 staff redundant after strike

Job losses are being blamed on the financial impact of protest action that could lead to the elimination of 10,000 roles by August

Royal Mail staff join a Communication Workers Union strike outside a post office in London. EPA
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Royal Mail will consult on up to 6,000 redundancies as the delivery company blamed a strike for mammoth financial losses.

The company said the move was in response to the “impact of industrial action, delays in delivering agreed productivity improvements and lower parcel volumes”.

It said it was seeking short-term cost efficiencies through the planned reduction of 5,000 full-time equivalent roles by March and about 10,000 by August.

This is expected to require between 5,000 to 6,000 redundancies by August.

Royal Mail is expected to fall to a £350 million ($392m) operating loss for the year after being hit by the protest action, its parent group International Distributions Services said.

The cuts announcement comes a day after Royal Mail workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) embarked on a new strike in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

“This is a very sad day. I regret that we are announcing these job losses," Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson said.

“We will do all we can to avoid compulsory redundancies and support everyone affected.

“We have announced today losses of £219 million in the first half of the year. Each strike day weakens our financial situation.

“The CWU’s decision to choose damaging strike action over resolution regrettably increases the risk of further headcount reductions.”

Updated: October 14, 2022, 7:48 AM