Union claims Australia Post plan to move letter sorting to Dandenong.By Chalpat Sonti
More mail will be delayed and dozens of jobs at Seymour Mail Centre could ultimately be at risk if Australia Post proceeds with a plan to take mail to Dandenong to be sorted instead, a union claims.
The Communication Workers Union claims the ‘‘Enhancement Removal Program’’ being considered by the state-owned company would see more local letters take longer than one day to be delivered.
It also says 10 workers’ jobs would immediately be at risk under the plan, with the potential for another 31 job losses if the move was extended to parcels.
Under the program, mail from five Victorian regional mail centres would be sent to Dandenong, with eight centres in NSW also impacted.
‘‘In light of our future volume trajectory, we must now test the value of the network service enhancements we have created, beyond the prescribed performance standards,’’ a copy of the slide show shown by Australia Post to the union said.
These ‘‘enhancements’’ included that ‘‘letters lodged in country areas for delivery in metro are delivered next day and vice versa’’.
‘‘We propose shifting non-local country letters processing to major regional and metro centres.’’
The union’s Victorian secretary Joan Doyle met with Federal Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell in Seymour last week to discuss the plan.
Ms Doyle said there was no need to shift mail sorting to Dandenong.
‘‘For about 35 years (Australia Post) has provided a next-day service (between Seymour and Melbourne and adjoining towns) .
‘‘Machines (might) do it faster but don’t do it accurately.’’
Local knowledge was the key to accuracy and ‘‘you can’t buy (it). A lot of the people who work here, 100 miles they might travel to come to work, there’s not a lot of (other) jobs in the local area.’’
An Australia Post spokeswoman said the company met with union representatives recently ‘‘to discuss the continuing challenges for our mail business, which lost more than $185
‘‘One option that is being explored is shifting non-local country letters processing to major regional and metro centres to create greater efficiencies,’’ she said.
‘‘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. Regardless of the final impact, no employee impacted will be forced to take a redundancy.’’
Mr Mitchell said he was concerned about the possible loss of any jobs in Seymour, including the many casual positions that came about to cater for the Christmas rush.
‘‘I find that appalling,’’ he said.
‘‘It shows a real lack of commitment to regional areas. What really concerns me as well over the past week or so the Federal Government has been talking about privatising Australia Post.’’
‘‘For me it’s important we push the new Federal Government not to be part of processes that will mean raising unemployment in regional areas, particularly in Seymour.
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