Little Island Postal Workers March Against Sorting Office Closure

By Seamus Whelehan

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Hundreds of Postal workers and their families are set to march through Cork City this weekend in an attempt to convince An Post, to reverse their decision to close the Little Island sorting office.
The protesters will hold their demonstration at the National Monument on Grand Parade this Saturday 20 July at 2:30pm and are asking the public for their support.
Employees say the decision by the state owned company to close the mail centre is having a devastating effect on the community and will put untold pressure on regional staff.
They say the move could affect Christmas deliveries and end the next day delivery service.
Last month postal chiefs announced to the 240 strong workforce that their jobs would be phased out over a six month period beginning this September.
The closure is said to result in a saving of over €11million for the beleaguered company.
Since 2005 an Post has struggled to deliver, stating the decline in its core business of delivering letters has worsened.
Last year the company said a mail service will close in 2019 as it struggles to deliver.
Members of the Cork Mail Centre Action Group feel last month’s decision to close the Cork site was politically motivated rather than an actual need.
They say that volumes of letters have not fallen as metered mail, A5 letters, business letters and general mail continue to remain at high levels coupled with a major increase in parcels due to online shopping.
“By re-defining what a letter is they are playing on words, they are saying the volume of letters has dropped. We now have machines that fly through thousands of letters every day, they can do up to 35,000 in an hour” says Oliver Maloney a mail centre employee.
Mr Maloney is among dozens of employees to be offered a sliding scale package based on their closeness to retirement age.
Over 20 employees are set to lose out on a full redundancy package instead they will be given a retirement package worth substantially less.
While given considerably less than their younger counterparts, those who are 60 and over say they are being offered half the amount they should be when compared to their length of service.
Once they are let go they say they will be expected to live on €50 a week less than a senior citizen, after working years for the state company, until they reach retirement age.
Speaking to the East Cork Journal Mr Maloney said “it is surprising that we now have 3 mail centres in close proximity to Dublin with nothing now in the southern hub covering cork, Kerry, limerick Waterford and Clare.“
Both the Communications Workers Union and An Post were asked for comment.

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