Post workers demand answers as cuts loom

Workers are demanding answers from Australia Post after it set aside funds for an expected 1,900 job losses as part of plans to stem the bleeding from its mail business.


The company expects to fork out $190 million in redundancy payments over the next three years as it shifts workers out of mail and into growing operations such as parcels.

Chief executive Ahmed Fahour said there will be no forced redundancies, but workers are expected to leave instead of being retrained or redeployed.

The majority of job losses are likely to be in metropolitan areas, he said.

“I have made a commitment that there will be no forced redundancy of staff impacted directly by changes in our mail service and who are actively seeking jobs in other parts of the business,” he said.

“The provision will provide a safety net for employees who we know will choose not to transition with us and who may be legally entitled to a voluntary redundancy.”

Unions say the announcement has Australia Post’s 32,000 workers on edge.

“We call on Australia Post to release the details of where jobs will be lost and how many,” the NSW secretary of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union, Jim Metcher, told reporters.

Australia Post is grappling with an expected $500 million full year loss thanks to the mail business, which has lost $1.5 billion in the past five years.

Its first full year loss in more than 30 years for Australia Post comes after its largest annual fall in mail deliveries, of more than 10 per cent.

The company delivers 1.2 billion fewer letters than it did just seven years ago.

“We have reached the tipping point that we have been warning about where, without reform, the business becomes unsustainable,” Mr Fahour said.

The introduction of a two tiered mail service, meaning slower delivery for regular mail and higher prices, has been approved by the federal government.

Mr Fahour has again guaranteed that deliveries will still be made five days a week.

But unions say the changes will hurt regional areas.

“That would allow all of those mail processing jobs in regional areas to be shifted to metro areas,” Communication Workers Union assistant national secretary Martin O’Nea said.

Mr Metcher said slower and more expensive mail delivery would also have greater consequences for those in remote areas.

“The community needs to be alarmed in terms of what this means in terms of their postal services,” he said.