Royal Mail considers closure of East London Mail Centre in Bromley-by-Bow

Communication Workers Union won’t rule out strike action over potential closure of East London Mail Centre

THE Royal Mail is considering plans to close the East London Mail Centre in Bromley-by-Bow, which has over 700 staff and relocate its services outside of London.

The Mail Centre in Twelve Trees Crescent, which sorts and processes mail before it is delivered across east London including to Canary Wharf and the Olympic 2012 project, could close under plans being discussed between the Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union and work would switch to a centre in Romford next year.

John Ayres, the CWU area representative, said staff had not been told if this would result in compulsory redundancies and he said the union isn’t ruling out the possibility of strike action.

He said: “They’ve made it very clear that they are not willing to move, that it is 99.9% certain that it will move.

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“We don’t believe that’s the case, we believe that we can get the decision reversed.”

Mr Ayres argued that switching work to a Romford centre could affect delivery times to east Londoners as mail would come back into London on congested routes such as the A11 and A13 for morning deliveries.

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He said: “We believe there will be a total collapse of the London mail system.

“This could lead to customers getting their mail at 6pm.”

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, is backing the CWU campaign, arguing the move would make Royal Mail deliveries less efficient,

He said: “When you consider the building has been open for less than 10 years and I’m told the price per item to process mail there is lower than any other centre in London, it seems a nonsense that the Royal Mail would opt for closure.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: ““No final decisions have been made but it is recognised by both Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union that we have more mail centres than we need due to lower volumes of mail and a significant reduction is required.

“This affects London as elsewhere.

“We are continuing to consult with the unions about a proposal to close the centre in Bromley by Bow.”

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