In response to the article ‘Fears of union boss over Shropshire mail office threat’ (Shropshire Star, October 16), I would like to respond on behalf of Royal Mail.
When we announced that our formal proposal was to relocate the bulk of our processing operations from Shrewsbury to Chester, Cardiff and Wolverhampton mail centres, it was done as part of a wider ongoing review of mail centres across the UK and in response to the growing decline in mail volumes nationally.
We need to respond to the growth in electronic communications and decline in overall mail volumes.
In Shropshire and Mid Wales, mail volumes of items posted to addresses in the area from other parts of the country have fallen by 24.3 per cent in the last five years. Mail volumes of items posted in Shropshire and Mid Wales to addresses outside the area have fallen by 35 per cent.
Within this shrinking postal market, rival postal operators now carry more than one in three letters and more than half of all business mail in the UK. Our revenue has been declining.
The proposal has not been considered lightly and follows a review of our operations in Shrewsbury, which began in February 2012 and involved more than six months of consultation with our employees and unions. This proposal is aimed at allowing us to deliver the most efficient, consistent and reliable service to Royal Mail customers and help secure long term employment and job security.
There are around 240 processing and network staff currently working at Shrewsbury Mail Centre and it is too early to say what the impact of the proposal will be on these people. This depends on the final outcome of the consultation with unions and our people.
Royal Mail’s aim is to minimise any job reductions and 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.
This review is part of the ongoing modernisation and investment in our business and one we consider vital in order to put Royal Mail on a sound, secure and sustainable footing for the future.
Royal Mail Director