Strike mooted as Royal Mail managers face the chop

LONDON – Managers at Royal Mail may strike for the first time in 20 years over a leaked document that reveals plans for job cuts that would hit workers on long-term sick leave and maternity leave.

It is unclear whether any marketing staff are involved as Royal Mail has declined to comment officially on the leaked document.

Union Amicus claims it has seen a document prepared last month, which contains plans to cut managerial jobs and defines workers who refuse to take voluntary redundancy as "surplus". According to reports, plans will be forced through this week in an attempt to sack 3,000 of 14,000 managers. Around 700 staff in total will be declared surplus. Up to 1,500 jobs are supposedly at risk because only 1,300 managers have volunteered for redundancy. The memo says that authorisation will be sought for compulsory redundancies.

The "management headcount reduction" memo claims that the human resources department in each business unit "will take responsibility for writing to LTS [long-term sick] and maternity leave people".

It says that the "surplus" staff will be allocated to a general resourcing pool through which they will be told other work will be offered. But the memo is reported to state: "They need to have expectations managed carefully, ie little or no chance of redeployment."

The union is holding an emergency meeting to discuss the matter today.

A spokeswoman for Amicus told the Reuters news agency: "We have called an emergency meeting for our members and there is a possibility that they will be balloted for industrial action."

The job cull is thought to be part of the company's strategy to compete more closely with its rivals. The service was paralysed by unofficial strike action last year and currently employs 200,000 people.

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