British Post Office is in Serious trouble
they seem to be having serious financial trouble...
Consignia faces huge job losses
Consignia is set to announce 40,000 job losses over the next three years, the BBC has learned.
The redundancies account for almost a fifth of the former Post Office's workforce and are far in excess of previous predictions that around 12,000 jobs would go.
Consignia is also likely to close more than 3,000 urban post offices and change its name back to the Royal Mail, as part of a major shake-up aimed at cutting costs and ensuring the company's survival.
Unions have called on Consignia to avoid compulsory redundancies by working with them to find alternatives.
Consignia is losing £1.5m a day and the redundancies would be the greatest shake-up in the Post Office's 300-year history.
The company hopes to save £1.2bn a year through the cuts, which come as the market for postal deliveries is opened up to competition in a three-stage process starting this year.
Most of the job losses would be in its Parcel Force division - which is losing £15m a month.
Other positions are expected to go in the Post Office's administration and central management, with cuts anticipated at a later date in the Royal Mail.
Managers hope to limit compulsory redundancies by offering one of the most generous severance packages ever from a state-owned company.
A Consignia spokeswoman confirmed that an announcement on its future would be made "shortly".
She refused to be drawn on the plans, adding: "Our absolute priority will be to talk to our employees first, particularly if jobs are affected."
But the spokeswoman added: "The current business model will not sustain the level of costs we are incurring and this is putting the future of our services at risk."
Acting chairman Allan Leighton last month promised to come up with "radical solutions" to the company's problems, saying "everything is under review".
Peter Skyte, national secretary of the Amicus union, called for workers to be protected.
He said: "We recognise that Consignia has difficulties financially and organisationally.
"The bottom line for us is that there must be no compulsory redundancies.
"And given its current position the only way forward for the company, we would say, is to work in partnership with the unions to safeguard as many jobs as possible through mechanisms such as redeployment, early redundancy and voluntary retirement."
Commenting on the possible closure of 3,000 urban post offices a spokesman for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the government is "committed to the maintenance of the network of post offices".
He added: "There would be extensive consultation if an office was going to close, but these would be operational matters for the post office. The programme has not even started yet."