Reports: Consignia to Cut Another 15,000 Postal Jobs

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Consignia is expected to announce a further 15,000 to 22,000 job cuts in May, according to wire reports.

United Kingdom-based Consignia runs Royal Mail, Parcelforce Worldwide and the Post Office. The move is likely to coincide with the annual financial results of the Post Office, which are expected to show record losses.

Consignia announced last week that it will cut 15,000 jobs as part of a three-year rescue package in which the loss-making Parcelforce Worldwide business will be scaled down. It also said it plans to use its air, rail and road operations to create a more efficient single network.

According to reports, the new staff cuts this time around will be in the Royal Mail division.

In other news, Consignia admitted yesterday that it held abortive talks with its Dutch rival TPG over a possible merger of its mail operations.

"We have held initial discussions with TPG about a joint venture," said a Consignia spokesman. "We are no longer pursuing that course of action"

TPG, a listed company that owns the TNT express delivery service, said that Consignia and the British government had approached it about the possibility of a merger. A TPG spokesman said it would now "press ahead and compete with Consignia on its own".

The Dutch operator supposedly put forward a number of proposals for structuring a joint venture, which were rejected by Consignia and the government. At first, it suggested that the Government became a large shareholder in TPG, financing the merger by issuing shares. TPG is also believed to have offered between £4 billion and £5 billion cash for the business. Allan Leighton, Consignia's new full-time chairman, is understood to have persuaded the Government that this undervalued the organization.

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