East London postal workers wait to hear fate of mail centre

EAST London postal workers are in the dark over whether the Bromley-by-Bow mail centre is to be closed by the Royal Mail.

Around 700 employees at the centre, which sorts and processes mail before it is sent to east London locations including Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park, had hoped to learn of their fate before Christmas.

But a union source said Royal Mail had pushed back a final decision on its closure, which could see much of the sorting work moved outside of London, to a potential date of January 31.

The workers at Twelvetrees Crescent first learned of Royal Mail’s proposed plans, including the closure of the south London mail centre in Battersea, on September 24.

A company spokesman said: “Royal Mail is continuing to consult with the Communications Workers Union and our trade unions over the review of London mail centres and we hope to make a decision in the very near future.

“However, we do not have a specific date set for announcing any decision.

Royal Mail proposes to serve London customers from its Mount Pleasant centre in Farringdon and says the changes are necessary because it has significantly more mail processing capacity than it needs.

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Some sorting and processing work would switch to a mail centre in Romford.

This will lead to more than 800 job transfers from closing centres and 1000 fewer jobs across the capital but their spokesman wouldn’t confirm if compulsory redundancies are being planned.

He said: “Royal Mail has an excellent track record of supporting people through changes and we are committed to continuing this.”

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, opposes the closure and wrote to Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene at the end of last year with his concerns.

He said: “If you remember back, there were always horror stories locally about the Royal Mail but that has largely dried up since the mail centre opened.

“The implications are for a diminished service and that will have a knock-on effect to deliveries across east London.”