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Eire - Postal services 'way more valuable' now than five years ago, CWU told

11 May 2018, 14:13 ... -1.3491069

Postal services are now seen as being “way more valuable” than they were five or even two years ago, An Post’s chief executive has said.

The digital world had closed down one door – mail – but it had opened another in terms of e-commerce, David McRedmond, who is also the chairman of the board of Eir, told the Communications Workers Union conference in Killarney.

Parcel business had increased by 30 per cent and that sort of growth meant An Post was not a marginal company, he said.

Mr McRedmond said that a 38 per cent increase in the cost of stamps and parcels meant that for the first time An Post was covering costs but the focus moving forward would be on growing the company, not just on handling change.

He said the postmasters’ contract was last negotiated in 1907 and that An Post intended to invest €50 million in modernising the postal network.

The number of post offices would reduce where the population had moved away but by closing a post office, this often made the nearest one viable, he said.

Two post offices that are unviable would often make one post office viable, he said.

Mr McRedmond said financial services, particualry for those people who were marginalised, would be targeted similar to what Italy’s largets bank, Post Italia, had done. More Government services and E-Commerce depots were also part of the strategy for the network, he indicated.

Eir chief executive Carolan Lennon told Eir delegates at the conference that the company structures would be transformed to make it slimmer and more employee and more customer friendly. The company’s new French owner was in for the long haul, she said.

Ms Lennon said there was a lot of interest in a voluntary redundancy scheme to offered to reduce the number of mainly office workers by 750.

CWU general secretary Steve Fitzpatrick said it was unusual to invite the chief executive of Eir to address the union’s conference but after nine changes of ownership “it might not be here we go again”.

“The new owners are industry players. They have a number of operations in different countries,” he said, adding that there was a hope stability might be brought to the firm.

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