The Post Office in the UK has announced its plans to withdraw its services from the external cash delivery market resulting in the loss of nearly 600 jobs from its Supply Chain division.
Supply Chain is the Post Office’s logistics operation that collects, delivers and processes cash, valuables and stock. It was originally established to service the Post Office branch network but for more than a decade it has also offered cash collection and delivery services to a number of businesses across the United Kingdom. The Post Office has said that its withdrawal from the external market will help it to focus on providing its services to its 11,600 branches throughout the UK.
Mark Ellis, Supply Chain director, Post Office, said, “If Post Offices are to thrive in the future, we need to look at all aspects of how we operate, transforming our support areas as well as our branch network. Supply Chain’s core purpose must be to provide a cost-effective and reliable service to our branches and the communities that they serve.
“With downward pressure on prices due to competition from larger providers and the market for external cash-in-transit services gradually declining, we believe that, in the future, our resources should be wholly focused on supporting our network.”
The announcement has been met with fierce opposition from workers unions Unite and the CWU (Communication Workers Union), who argue that the latest cuts are being used to cover up the company’s performance since it split from the Royal Mail in 2012. The two unions have called for Post Office board resignations in protest at the cuts.
Dave Ward, general secretary of the CWU, said, “With this latest round of job losses, the management of the Post Office has to face the facts that it is in crisis and heading for ruin. If they care about the future of the network they should resign in protest at the straightjacket that government cuts have left them in.
“The Post Office was split from Royal Mail in 2012 in the run-up to privatization and we are yet to see a plan that will secure its future. With a cut in its funding from £210m (US$310m) in 2013, to zero in 2019, these job losses show that under Sajid Javid’s leadership, the Post Office is heading the same way as the steel industry.
“This year alone, CWU members in the Post Office face 500 frontline job losses in branches, 500 job losses in its cash handling business Supply Chain and the closure of their pension scheme. There is a perfect storm in the Post Office and our members will expect us to act to defend them.”
May 19, 2016