‘Pathetic!’ - Royal Mail plots to ABANDON Saturday postal deliveries
Royal Mail has formally asked the Government to switch from a six-days-a-week letter delivery service to five
Royal Mail has asked the Government for an early move to cut its letter service to five days a week as it unveiled hefty losses after a hit from crippling strike action.
Boss Simon Thompson vowed to do “whatever it takes” to turn the group around after half-year results showed it tumbled to a £219 million underlying operating loss in the 26 weeks to September 25 against earnings of £235 million a year ago.
The group said three days of strike action in the first half cost Royal Mail around £70 million, while a further five days in October are estimated to have cost another £30 million.
It is in “intensive” talks with unions to avert further strikes but is making up to 6,000 redundancies amid a swingeing overhaul to turn around its fortunes.
It has formally asked the Government to switch from a six-days-a-week letter delivery service to five, covering Monday to Friday, under its Universal Service agreement.
The group will look to maintain a seven-day parcel delivery service.
Mr Thompson, chief executive of Royal Mail, said: “We have always been clear we need change to survive. We have started turning the business around and will do whatever it takes.
“We would prefer to reach agreement with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) but in any case we are moving ahead with changes to transform our business.”
But the plans have been slammed by many, who have dubbed the move ‘pathetic’.
One angry Twitter user wrote: “Pathetic excuse.
“Do the job you mandated to do - letter delivery SIX days a week.
“You just thinking about excessive profits.”
While another person added: “Nope. Deliver 6-7 days a week or stand aside and let other companies do what you charge a fortune for.”
A Government spokesman said there are “no current plans to change the Universal Service”.
He added: “While we recognise the issues that Royal Mail raise, there would need to be a strong case that showed changes would meet reasonable needs of users of postal services and ensure the financial sustainability of the universal postal service.”
In a statement late on Wednesday, Royal Mail said it had entered “intensive talks” with the CWU ahead of the next wave of strikes planned on November 24.
The union said some progress had been made in recent negotiations, but accused Royal Mail bosses of “gross mismanagement” and failing to put any commitments into writing.
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