EDITORIAL: Customers deserve more
A SHAKE-UP within Australia Post could see jobs lost at Lavington’s mail sorting centre and letters and parcels no longer subject to a next-day guaranteed delivery.
A meeting of postal service managers and representatives of the Communication, Electrical and Plumbing union, which acts for mail sorters, will be held in Sydney tomorrow to discuss proposals.
The union’s NSW secretary, Jim Metcher, said mail sorting at Lavington could be transferred to the automated centre in Canberra as part of cost-saving measures.
An Australia Post spokeswoman confirmed there were moves afoot to relocate country mail sorting.
“Australia Post met with union representatives recently — including NSW representatives — to discuss the continuing challenges for our mail business, which lost more than $185 million in the past financial year,” she said.
“One option that is being explored is shifting non-local country letters processing to major regional and metro centres to create greater efficiencies.”
The Australia Post spokeswoman declined to say how many jobs at the Lavington centre were at risk.
“We are working through the detail with employees and the union to better understand the full impact, as such it is far too early to talk about potential impacts on individuals,” she said.
“Regardless of the final impact, no employee impacted will be forced to take a redundancy.”
Mr Metcher said if the changes proceeded, mail posted in Albury to other Riverina centres, such as Wagga, Corowa and Deniliquin, would no longer be guaranteed next-day delivery.
Mail sent within Albury would be not be affected.
Australia Post declined to answer questions about the impact on delivery times.
Albury Northside chamber chairman David Koschitzke said he was concerned about job and service losses.
“If job losses are significant then it could impact the economy of the area,” he said.
“I wonder if Australia Post has tested with their customers whether cutting next-day delivery is acceptable to businesses and people.”
He said there were documents that could not be sent electronically and the change would be a costly inconvenience for business.
“We would have no choice but to rely on a courier which is at a higher cost,” he said.
Mr Metcher said he hoped the meeting tomorrow would address concerns.
“I think Australia Post will agree with what we are seeking, which is no employee will have to take a compulsory redundancy,” he said.
“The best outcome would be no changes to the current system.”