AN Post has announced it is closing its Little Island mail centre, with the loss of 216 jobs affecting 240 people in total.
The company said the Cork plant was operating at below 25% capacity as mail volumes decline at about 7% per year due to customers moving from letters to parcels and e-commerce.
The closure will be phased between September 2019 and March 2020 and staff will be offered:
:: An exit package of 6 weeks per year of service up a maximum of 2 years’ pay
:: Possible redeployment opportunities within An Post’s networks in the Cork area.
In a statement An Post said: "The €11m annual savings from the plant closure will enable An Post to invest more rapidly in its parcels infrastructure nationally, locally, and in the automation of parcel sorting.
"Parcel volumes have grown by 60% since An Post actively re-entered the parcels market in 2017.
"An Post plans to invest over €15m in parcels infrastructure across Cork City and the wider region over the next three years."
Commenting on the news, Garrett Bridgeman, Managing Director of An Post Mails & Parcels, said:
“This is a very tough day for the staff at Cork Mail Centre who have delivered a consistently high level of performance over the years. "The closure is simply due to the global trend of mail volume decline which has led to significant over-capacity in the mails system.
"Our priority is to look after our employees who have given great service to An Post by providing alternative employment options, good redundancy terms, further education grants and active access to other employers.
"The switch of investment into parcels infrastructure will greatly increase the range of services to customers across the region and will ensure that Cork has the best e-commerce delivery service, while ensuring the mails service to customers will be maintained at the current high quality levels.”
Cork TD Mick Barry said there should be no redundancies as a result of the closure.
“The demand for An Post parcel delivery services is racing ahead as the demand for letter delivery services fall,” he said.
“This provides the opportunity to diversify and grow the business without job cuts.
“The company should discuss plans with the workers' trade union representatives as to how this can best be done before any decisions are made about premises."