INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Britain's postal operator Royal Mail, whose workers have helped the nation cope with coronavirus lockdown, said Thursday that it will axe 2,000 management jobs as it battles ongoing turmoil.
The former state-run company revealed the cost-cutting overhaul in its annual results, adding that the COVID-19 outbreak had sparked a jump in demand for parcels - but it still suffered from an ongoing slump in its core letters business.
"In recent years, our UK business has not adapted quickly enough to the changes in our marketplace of more parcels and fewer letters," said the company's executive chair Keith Williams in an earnings statement.
"COVID-19 has accelerated those trends, presenting additional challenges."
"We're taking immediate action on costs, which will result in a £130 million (143 million euro, $161 million) saving in people costs next year and flat non-people costs, along with a reduction of around £300 million in capital expenditure across the group over the next two years, to address the immediate impact of COVID-19.
"Regrettably, we are also proposing a management restructure impacting around 2,000 roles," he added.
Since Britain's lockdown was imposed on March 23, Royal Mail employees have enjoyed an elevated status with the UK public thanks to their key role in delivering virus test kits and helping businesses to survive the economic fallout.
Williams was quick to praise the company's workforce despite news of the heavy job cuts.
"I'd like to offer my profound thanks to all my colleagues across the group," he added.
"Our UK postmen and women are playing a crucial role in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are key workers on the frontline."
The UK government began to relax Britain's nationwide lockdown this month.