March 22, 2011 / 5:10 AM / 8 years ago

Royal Mail says to shed 1,700 jobs, close centres

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Mail Group said on Monday it would axe 1,700 jobs and close two sorting centres in London as part of its major modernisation programme.

The job losses include 1,000 managers and 750 employees at two centres in the capital, the company said in a statement.

Royal Mail said “significant reductions” in the number of mail centres were under way as part of the transformation and that about half of its 64 centres operating in 2010 could eventually close by 2016 or sooner.

It said it believed it would not have to resort to compulsory redundancies to manage the cuts and said it was investing in new delivery methods designed to deal with the changes in the postal market.

“With the number of postal items posted in London expected to more than halve between 2006 and 2014, it is imperative that Royal Mail continues the modernisation programme,” the firm said in a statement.

It said the redundancies were on top of 1,700 jobs it had axed since the start of the year in sectors including finance, IT, human resources and support services.

Royal Mail says it has cut 65,000 positions since 2002 as part of an urgent and necessary rationalisation programme.

Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi; Editing by Matt Falloon, Gary Hill

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