The Cork Mail Centre in Little Island is due to close resulting in the loss of 216 jobs, affecting 240 people. An Post officials made their way to Little Island last night to inform current employees that the closure of the sorting centre will take place on a phased basis between September 2019 and March 2020.
An Post stated that the closure will allow for annual savings of €11,000,000.
In a statement, An Post said staff will be offered:
- Exit packages of six weeks per year of service, up to a maximum of two year’ pay
- Redeployment opportunities with An Post’s networks in the Cork area
- Further education/re-skilling grants of up to €3,000 per person
- Help to secure jobs with new employers; a Jobs Fair and outplacement support
Speculation regarding the future of the sorting centre, just one of four nationwide, has been widespread for some time now.
The possibility of job losses was raised in the Dáil in November of 2018. Seán Sherlock of the Labour Party told the Dáil that he had been informed that the centre based out in Little Island had been earmarked for closure.
He warned that this would “have a devastating effect on postal services in the southern region”.
He said such a move would be “unsociable”. Last night, An Post said it was engaged with the Communications Workers Union (CWU) “to ensure the best possible outcome for all the CMC staff”.
It said the closure of a mail centre was considered by the Labour Court in its recommendation of September 2017. However, the remaining three centres – Portlaoise, Athlone and Dublin – are unaffected.
Representatives of An Post said that the Cork plant was “operating at below 25% capacity as mail volumes decline around 7% per annum due to customers moving from the old world of letters to the new world of parcels and e-commerce”.
The company also mentioned that the €11m annual savings that will result from the closure of the plane “will enable An Post to invest more rapidly in its parcels infrastructure nationally, locally, and in the automation of parcel sorting”.
Reacting to last night’s announcement by An Post, the Communications Workers’ Union said it was “extremely disappointed” with the company’s decision the shut down the plant.
The Union said that the decision will be “devastating news to those affected” and that it will have detailed negotiations with An Post to ensure that those workers losing their jobs are supported in rebuilding their lives and careers.
Sean McDonagh, CWU National Executive Officer and Deputy General Secretary said: “Our concern now as a result of this decision must be with the staff of the Cork Mail Centre and their families, and the CWU will seek to ensure that redundancies are voluntary to the greatest extent possible.
As part of the ‘outplacement programme’ the company will hold a ‘jobs forum’ in the Cork Mail Centre with local employers who are currently undertaking recruitment campaigns being invited to attend and meet with An Post employees impacted by the closure and who may be interested in exploring new career opportunities outside of An Post.
Source: The Irish Examiner