HUNDREDS of workers are being recruited to help sort Christmas post in Portsmouth.
About 320 seasonal staff are wanted to support permanent workers in the city between November and January next year. Royal Mail has said the temporary workers are needed to help sort Christmas cards and parcels before they are delivered.
The posts are part of a nationwide drive which will see about 21,000 seasonal staff employed across the country.
Mark Higson, Royal Mail’s managing director of operations and modernisation, said: ‘Christmas is the busiest time of the year and we plan all year round to help ensure we deliver the best possible service to our customers.
‘Every Christmas, we make a substantial financial commitment in additional resources to handle the festive mailbag, including the recruitment of thousands of temporary workers.’
The move comes after Royal Mail confirmed last month that it is proposing to close the processing part of its business in Portsmouth, putting up to 380 jobs at risk.
Mail will no longer be sorted at the city’s Slindon Street centre from summer 2015 if the proposal goes ahead, as it would be processed in Southampton instead.
But some delivery staff working in Slindon Street will not be affected by the closure, and customers will still be able to pick up their parcels from the site.
Royal Mail said the plan is part of an ongoing review of its UK mail centres due to a decline in mail and a ‘huge growth’ in electronic communications.
The firm hopes to make the changes without making any compulsory redundancies.
Meanwhile the Communication Workers’ Union is balloting about 125.000 workers on strike action over issues linked to the Government’s controversial plans to privatise Royal Mail.
If members vote yes, the first strike could be held on October 10.