The only Royal Mail sorting office in Shropshire is facing the axe putting 160 jobs under threat.
Royal Mail today announced formal proposals to close its sorting office in Castle Foregate, Shrewsbury.
Mail for Shropshire and Mid Wales will instead be sorted in Chester, Wolverhampton and Cardiff. The Royal Mail says the move is necessary due to ‘challenges from digital communication, competition and mail volume decline’.
They are hoping to avoid compulsory redundancies.
The Communication Workers Union says the move will put 162 jobs at risk, saying it will have a ‘massive impact’ on postal delivery times. Officials have vowed to fight the plans.
The centre in Shrewsbury, which has been processing mail since 1880, employs 240 workers. Delivery operations will remain on site if the plans are approved, with a decision due to be made in late autumn.
The volume of mail posted to Shropshire and Mid Wales addresses from other parts of the country has fallen by 24.3 per cent over the past five years, while post from Shropshire and Mid Wales sent outside the area has dropped by 35 per cent.
Under the plans, mail for SY postcodes across Shrewsbury and Mid Wales will be dealt with at Chester while mail for TF postcodes in the Telford area will be sent to Wolverhampton. Post in the Llandrindod Wells area (LD) will be sorted in Cardiff.
It follows six months of consultation and the Royal Mail said: “Our aim is to minimise any job reductions. Our intention is to make changes without compulsory redundancies.
“By asking people to demonstrate reasonable flexibility, we expect to be able to find roles for everyone who wants to continue to work for Royal Mail.”
Darren Jones, of the Shropshire and Mid Wales CWU, said: “The job losses will have a massive impact on the local economy.”
By Catherine Ferris