An Post on course to cut 400 jobs by end of year
An Post will have slashed staff numbers by more than 400 by the end of the year ahead of the opening-up of the postal market to competition in January, writes Ailish O'Hora.
Union representatives told the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications yesterday that the company would eliminate 1,100 permanent positions targeted by the end of 2012.
So far this year, already 265 workers have gone through a combination of voluntary redundancies, elimination of overtime and natural attrition.
The company is under pressure from falling mail volumes and unions also told the committee that unless the liberalisation of the market was managed properly, An Post, which currently receives no funding from the Exchequer and is profitable, could be forced to go cap-in-hand to the State for financial backing.
They added the "one-size-fits-all" European liberalisation model does not suit Ireland because of its rural structure, with parts of the country loss-making for An Post.
Steve Fitzpatrick of the Communication Workers' Union said: "New entrants to the market may cherry-pick profitable postal routes, leaving loss-making areas to An Post."
Mail volumes have fallen 16pc since the start of 2009, with each 1pc drop accounting for a loss of €5m, as traditional letter-writing dies out and consumers turn to e-billing, he said.