CWU hits out at Royal Mail Gloucester office closure plan
SORTING office workers have been dealt a hammer blow with the announcement the Gloucester office will close.
Royal Mail confirmed it will sell the Eastern Avenue centre, leaving 372 workers with an uncertain future.
It says it will try to find new roles for some of the workers and reimburse staff if they have to travel.
But the Communication Workers Union said Royal Mail has ignored its plan to preserve jobs there.
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"We have put options back to Royal Mail which realised savings, and that we demonstrated would work," said CWU secretary Paul Trehearne. "They have ignored our representations throughout the consultation period and ploughed ahead."
Operations will continue from the Stroud, Brockworth and Bristol offices.
It follows an eight-month consultation with workers.
Royal Mail will transfer the sorting office operation to Bristol, while some mail processing and mail collections will move to Gloucester North in Brockworth, and Stroud delivery offices Some mail collections will also be moved to Gloucester South and Lydney.
Royal Mail said the move is in response to the challenges from digital communications, competition in the delivery market and overall mail volume decline. It is expected to begin in the middle of 2013 and finish in early 2014.
Michael Kennedy, Royal Mail's South West process and collections director said: "These changes to our operations in Gloucester will, unfortunately, impact on some colleagues. However, change is absolutely essential to meet customers' expectations of a world class postal service, ensure we operate efficiently and provide a great quality of service in a smaller and radically changing market."
Gloucester MP Richard Graham said: "Although clearly a very sad moment for staff and their families, I know that this is advance notice of the closure next July, and that Royal Mail will be doing all they can meanwhile to keep staff, many in different roles, and train those who decide to take generous voluntary retirement and pursue other opportunities. I'm pleased that the intention is for no compulsory redundancies."