United Kingdom. Royal Mail could cut 10,000 jobs

The management of the British post office, Royal Mail, indicated on Friday that it wanted to cut up to 10,000 positions. In a statement, the International Distributions Services group, which manages the company, said “based on current estimates, about 5,000 to 6,000 layoffs” in mail delivery and processing jobs “unfortunately may be necessary before the end of August 2023”.

The reason ? Royal Mail dared to blame its workers’ strikes for better wages in the face of inflation (10%) and the working conditions of its 130,000 employees. This decision is coming “in response to the impact of social movements” but also “delays in achieving productivity improvements” justifies the management of the company and “decline in package volumes”which had been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Split its activities into two

Faced with the continued decline in its core business, management expects an operating loss of £219m (€250m) for its staggered first half, which ended in September, and an annual loss of £350m (€403m).

Still, its international parcels arm, which ditched the Royal Mail name for GLS, is expected to report an operating profit of between €370m and €410m for the full year. The group is continuing its strategy of splitting its operations into two separate companies between its UK and international side.

A desire to make jobs more insecure

The Communications Workers’ Union (CWU), which is currently on strike at the company over pay, condemned the decision and condemned “manifest mismanagement” By the company. Its general secretary, Dave Ward, has accused the International Distributions Services group of planning structural changes which would effectively make workers in skilled jobs a “precarious and financially insecure workforce overnight”. The company claims it needs to modernize in order to offer a more productive and competitive service…

In it Guardianclaimed Dave Ward “an urgent meeting with the board and will propose an alternative business plan at this meeting” because “This ad holds postal workers to ransom for taking action against a business approach that is not in the future of workers, customers or Royal Mail”. Faced with inflation in the UK, many sectors of activity (transport, health, education) have made an unprecedented and historic move since the summer. The CWU has thus decided on a six-day strike recently, with two more planned for the end of October, to demand better wages amid the cost of living crisis.

Jeremy Hunt new Chancellor of the Exchequer

A battle that comes amid a political crisis for Prime Minister Liz Truss. The Conservatives, in power since 2010, and their government remain in turmoil in the face of a looming economic recession. UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for August. If it had risen by 0.1% in July (against 0.2% according to a first estimate), it fell by 0.3% in August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced on Wednesday.

The prime minister, who constantly changed his recovery plan, threw his government into turmoil. So much so that on Friday Liz Truss fired Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng and appointed Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor of the Exchequer. This former foreign and health minister, 55, was this summer a candidate to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister. He had ultimately supported the opponent of the current Prime Minister: Rishi Sunak.

According to a PeoplePolling survey, 9% of voters have a favorable opinion of Liz Truss. A tumble that benefits the Labor Party, credited with a 34-point lead. It is in this tense context that the trade union Trades Union Congress (TUC) will hold its annual congress from Tuesday.

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