NZPost staff reeling at scale of cuts
Manawatu posties and Post Shop staff face an anxious wait as New Zealand Post is expected to roll out details about how it will shed 1500 to 2000 jobs.
A NZ spokesman was unable to provide any breakdown on how many jobs would go in Manawatu or any other particular areas of the country or the business.
Likewise, the EPMU says the huge losses had come as a shock, but there were no details about which regions would take the brunt of the 20 per cent cut to NZ Post's staffing levels.
NZ Post said it would communicate with affected staff and their union representatives before it could specify where the cuts would be made.
But it has confirmed that the changes to mail processing that would see an additional 180 jobs created in Manawatu were still part of the package of changes.
It announced in June that its mail service would be consolidating to its Christchurch, Auckland and Palmerston North sites, with the Wellington, Waikato, Dunedin and satellite mail service centres closing.
The move was costing about 500 jobs nationally, but with 380 new roles created in the three remaining sites.
Inner City Post and Lotto shop owner Ken Lusby said he was as much in the dark as anyone about what the cuts could mean for business and staffing.
NZ Post said there would be a progressive move out of direct ownership of postal shops over several years.
"That possibly means a move to franchises, which is what we are, but I really don't know," said Mr Lusby.
NZ Post said there would be a move to more agency arrangements, and less personal contact.
The changes, which will see the demise of posties on bikes and a reduction in urban mail deliveries to three days a week, has come as mail volumes fall at a rate of about 8 per cent per year.
Labour leader David Cunliffe said the job losses would be a huge blow to workers across the country.
"The number of workers set to be thrown on the scrapheap is a lot more than anyone was expecting. Workers and their families throughout New Zealand will be reeling.
"It's hard enough as it is to get a job in this market and unemployment is already too high. It will be very hard for these workers in a tough job market.
"We are seeking further details on NZ Post's announcement but it appears to be a sledgehammer approach."
Mr Cunliffe said the cuts would have a huge impact in the provinces, where already over 200 jobs have been lost in the past month in Shannon and Rotorua.
"It is hard to see how provincial New Zealand can absorb these large numbers of unemployed."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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