UPDATE - Royal Mail confirms closure plans for East London centre

The Royal Mail has confirmed that it will not accept a union plan to keep the east London mail centre open until after the Olympics.

The Communication Workers Union put an alternative plan to keep the mail centre in Twelvetrees Crescent, Bromley-by-Bow, open until after the 2012 Games to company chiefs last week.

But the Royal Mail confirmed this afternoon that the centre, which has over 700 workers, will close by next year.

A spokeswoman said that the consultation with the union had meant the closing date for the centre had been extended by nine months.

She said: “We are very confident that the changes we have announced across Greater London will be made by voluntary means.

“Since we first invited staff to register their interest in voluntary redundancy seven working days ago, we have already received 450 expressions of interest.

“This is more than 75 per cent of the maximum number of redundancies that could be needed were all these expressions of interest to result in the applicants leaving the company.

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“Royal Mail will remain a significant employer in East London with around 1120 postmen and women working in 18 delivery offices and three collection hubs in the area.”

The South London Mail Centre is also to close under the plans and processing duties in Bromley-by-Bow will shift to a centre in Romford.

The CWU is now planning to ballot its members for industrial action next month.

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