Royal Mail set to scrap Saturday deliveries amid claims firm is losing £1m a day

Royal Mail is set to scrap Saturday post deliveries as the struggling company said it needed to “transform the way we work”.

The cost-cutting move comes as bosses claim the firm is losing £1 million a day.

UK sales fell 11.5 per cent in the three months to the end of June for an operating loss of £92 million.

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    The plans come after 115,000 staff at the Communications Workers Union voted on Tuesday (19 July) to strike and accused Royal Mail of “pleading poverty” in their pay row.

    Will Saturday deliveries be scrapped?

    Parcels on Saturdays would still be delivered as it still wants a seven-day service to rival courier firms -  but it believes a five-day letter service would be OK for 97 per cent of the public.

    The Government needs to approve the mooted changes.

    However, talks have already taken place.

    What has been said about the move?

    Asked if Saturdays were to be axed, Chairman Keith Williams told The Today programme: “Yes, Our consumers are not looking for that.”

    He said the company is losing “£1million per day and the efficiency improvements which are needed for long-term success have stalled”.

    Mr Williams added that Covid had given it extra business from posting testing kits and a jump in online deliveries that made a profit of £758 million - but this was a one-off.

    Meanwhile Simon Thompson, Royal Mail chief executive, said: “We have made progress building the infrastructure we need for Royal Mail to compete, especially given the growing demand for more larger parcels, delivering the next day – including Sundays – and in a more environmentally friendly way.

    “But building the infrastructure is not enough; we have to transform the way we work too.”

    He added: “We need to change – and change now. This is how we can give our team the job security that they deserve for tomorrow and not just for today.

    “I am ready to talk about pay and change at any time. But it has to be both.”

    What is the dispute over pay?

    Royal Mail workers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strikes in a dispute over pay.

    A ballot of members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) showed huge support for industrial action in protest at a 2% pay offer.

    A total of 97.6%, of those who voted, backed strikes, on a turnout of 77%.

    The union said it was an unprecedented result.

    General secretary Dave Ward said there will now be a “small window” of opportunity for talks to avoid walkouts before strike dates are set.

    He said postal workers received big support from the public for their efforts during the pandemic and would continue to receive backing for their pay campaign.