Royal Mail is seeking more than 170 temporary workers to help sort the Christmas post and the increasing amount of online shopping at its sorting office on Beddington Farm Road.
Inside Croydon has led a campaign for better postal services in Croydon, after staff shortages have seen some addresses go without any routine deliveries for days, sometimes weeks.
Businesses and residents in the CR0 postcode area, served by the Factory Lane sorting office, have been particularly badly hit by the often non-existent service from Royal Mail, although iC has received reports of poor service from all parts of the borough, and beyond.
The Royal Mail handles around double the normal number of parcels and stamped letters in the run-up to Christmas, and it has always depended on platoons of “Christmas casuals” to handle the surge in volume through the festive season.
This latest recruitment drive for quite so many temporary staff at what it calls its “Croydon Mail Centre”, on a trading estate near Ampere Way, appears to confirm some reports that there has been a significant exodus of staff in recent months, following a long-running industrial dispute followed by a redundancy process.
The casualisation of the Royal Mail’s workforce is matched by its use of a fleet of hired vehicles to deliver the mail – rather than operate its own trucks and vans in the familiar scarlet red livery. “In its drive to deliver Christmas to its customers, the company has increased its fleet with an additional 6,800 vehicles across the group and hired over 1,000 road haulage contractors to transport the festive mail and parcels across the country,” a Royal Mail press release states.
The Croydon recruitment drive is part of more than 10,000 seasonal sorting roles across the country, based across 37 mail centres plus five temporary parcel sorting centres.
Today, as they seek to plug some of the gaps left by the staff shortages, the Royal Mail said, “Temporary positions across a variety of shifts will be available from late October through to early January 2024.
“The period for the additional temporary work includes ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’, but will be at its peak in December. Competitive pay and flexible working across a range of shifts are offered.”
No previous experience is required. The roles also offer “the opportunity for longer-term work”, the Royal Mail said..
Royal Mail has set up a dedicated website for people to apply for the Christmas positions, https://christmasrecruitment.royalmailgroup.com/ or by emailing Christmas_helpline@royalmail.com or by calling the automated helpline on 0345 600 1785.
In addition, there are sorting and driving roles on offer in Royal Mail logistics and in the data inputting teams. There are also roles across the International Business sites at Heathrow Airport.
“By planning ahead and hiring more people, vans and trucks, we are well-prepared to handle the expected increased festive mail and parcels and deliver the high standards of service our customers expect from Royal Mail,” said Grant McPherson, Royal Mail’s chief operating officer.
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