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Byline: SANDY McKENZIE ROYAL Mail's depot in Cannon Park, Middlesbrough, is set to close by 2012.

Around 250 jobs will be switched to Tyneside. Remaining operations will be merged with those at South Bank at a new depot to be built on Teesside.

The move has been condemned by the local branch of the Communication Workers Union.

Royal Mail says it urgently needs to modernise its mail processing network.

In its shake-up of the mail centres network in the North-east and Yorkshire, Royal Mail plans to operate with a regional network of just three mail centres - Tyneside, Leeds and Sheffield.

On Teesside its means: * The transfer of processing work from Teesside and Darlington Mail Centres into an extended Tyneside Mail Centre; * Darlington Delivery Office to remain on site in the existing mail centre building, and * Middlesbrough Delivery Office and South Bank Delivery Office in Middlesbrough to be amalgamated on a new site.

The company hopes to achieve the changes without compulsory redundancies.

Alison Wright, regional operations director for Royal Mail in the North-east, said: "Our mail centres are facing considerable challenges, with competition from rival operators and electronic communication increasing and mail volumes continuing to decline, meaning there are now 16 million fewer letters posted each day compared with five years ago. So we urgently need to modernise and re-shape our mail processing network. Our service to customers will continue to be a top priority."

Peter Hall, secretary of the Cleveland Amalgamated Branch of the Communication Workers Union, said he doubted that many of the affected workthe ers would take up the opportunity to work at


FACING THE AXE: The Cannon Park sorting office in Middlesbrough, right, which will close by 2012, and our past coverage of the story, rightPicture by Picture by PETER REIMANN
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 4, 2010
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