14/06/2002

Binning of Consignia sparks call for all-island service

SDLP spokesperson on Employment, John Dallat MLA, has said the announcement by Consignia to cut 17,000 jobs UK wide was further evidence for the need to create an all-island postal service.

Mr Dallat said the cutbacks and financial losses demonstrated that the postal service was being run down and the only answer was an all-island postal service, "properly funded and well-managed, to prevent the privatisation of postal services north and south on a Europe-wide basis".

Consignia revealed losses of £1.1bn for the latest financial year on Thursday June 13, which will mean a further 17,000 jobs are set to be shed over the next three years.

The company also said it plans to drop the name Consignia, and will revert back to the Royal Mail moniker.

This latest restructuring plan follows the 15,000 job cuts unveiled earlier this year. However, it remains unclear at present how Northern Ireland will be affected by this latest set of cuts.

In a further move the company also said would save itself £350m a year by scrapping the second post.

Consignia said that most of the £1.1 billion loss was due to exceptional costs from its restructuring programme. But it still managed to lose £318 million on its day-to-day operations - equivalent to a £1.2 million loss every trading day.

(MB)

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