More than 70 postal jobs to go
MORE than 70 postal jobs are to be lost as Consignia is to close its cash distribution network in Suffolk.The department, which distributes cash and government documents to post offices across Suffolk, is due to close at the end of March next year.
MORE than 70 postal jobs are to be lost as Consignia is to close its cash distribution network in Suffolk.
The department, which distributes cash and government documents to post offices across Suffolk, is due to close at the end of March next year.
It employs 48 people at its office in Bluestem Road on the Ransomes Europark industrial estate in Ipswich and a further 23 at the postal sorting office in the town's Commercial Road.
The workers are being given the chance to move to alternative jobs or to take voluntary redundancy.
A spokesman for Consignia said there would be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the changes.
"Staff are being given the chance to move to the cash handling and distribution depot at Norwich or to Dartford in Kent. Or they are being given the chance to move to different jobs within the Consignia group in the Ipswich area," he said.
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"For those who don't want to take those options there is a voluntary redundancy package on offer and help in finding new jobs outside the industry," he said.
Tony Lovell, the local representative of the Communication Workers' Union, said the news about the closure of the depot had come as a shock.
"We were called to a meeting with our regional manager and finance director, and at the end they just said, 'Oh, Ipswich is closing and its business is transferring to Norwich and Dartford,' and that was it.
"No one had expected it like that. They say we're going to be gone by March 31, but knowing this management it could take anything from six weeks to six years to make the change," he said.
Mr Lovell said many of staff would be keen to stay within the Consignia group.
"That will be attractive, especially for those of us who have been in the industry for many years. There is a good pension scheme, and people who transfer to different departments will be able to retain that," he said.
But he was concerned there might not be enough jobs for everyone who wanted them.
"The Royal Mail sorting office has been losing staff, so I don't know if there will be the jobs for people to go to," Mr Lovell warned.
Consignia chiefs were confident they would be able to find new jobs for the displaced staff.
"We have a very high staff turnover, there are always new jobs coming up. I don't think that will be a major problem for us," said the company spokesman.
The depot which is being closed supplies cash, pension books, car licences, and other valuable paper work to post offices.
John Richardson of the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters said the change would not affect businesses or customers in Suffolk.
"It will mean that the van will arrive from a different direction. We've already had some things delivered from Norwich. There's no problem with that," he said.