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Government accused of mishandling crisis

PUBLISHED: 13:00 25 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:36 03 March 2010

FURIOUS Suffolk Sub Post Master Tony Burrows today accused the government of mishandling the crisis facing the industry.

His angry words came as Consignia was expected to announce massive job cuts as it battles to slash costs in the face of mounting losses.

FURIOUS Suffolk Sub Post Master Tony Burrows today accused the government of mishandling the crisis facing the industry.

His angry words came as Consignia was expected to announce massive job cuts as it battles to slash costs in the face of mounting losses.

The company confirmed today that 15,000 jobs will go as it restructures its loss making parcels and express business, Parcelforce Worldwide – however more job losses are expected with some newspapers predicting up to 40,000 jobs may have to go over the next three years.

This comes as Consignia, which is losing £1.5m a day, also looks set to announce an embarrassing corporate u-turn and ditch its name, returning instead to the old title, Royal Mail.

Tony Burrows, president of the Ipswich branch of the National Federation of Sub Post Masters said that the Royal Mail was being used as a political football and was suffering as a result of government interference.

"I think the government have mishandled the Post Office, it's being used as a political football. The business has not been allowed to put up prices as they should do to balance the books," he said.

"There has been too much interference by the government and too many proposals put forward that haven't been properly thought out."

Meanwhile union representatives in Suffolk spoke of a nervous "wait and see game" as confirmation of job losses was anxiously waited.

Nigel Kent, Communication Workers Union Suffolk representative said that members were "concerned" about the future.

"There is concern. It is something we have known about for some time but we are not going to known anything for sure for sometime yet," he said.

With a large sorting office in Ipswich's Commercial Road, any restructuring would have "quiet an impact," he said.

Describing how moves to secure exit packages and focus job losses on voluntary redundancies and retirement had been going on behind the scenes as part of ongoing pay talks, he added: "We are aware. It would be irresponsible for us to meet as a union locally before decisions have been taken at a national level, it's wait and see at the moment."

The expected job looses, from a workforce of more than 200,00 national are the greatest shake up since the post office was formed almost 300 years ago.

The Evening Star launched its Mail Watch campaign last year in response to perceived problems in the industry regional.

The company admitted it was having serious problems and blamed staff sickness as a major reason for late deliveries.

Readers flooded The Evening Star offices with letters and calls detailing their experiences of the service – with the majority saying they felt let down and demanding improvements.


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