Posta to lay off 1,280 workers

Posta to lay off 1,280 workers

Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) is set to lay off more than 1,280 of its workers to reduce operational costs.

The retrenchment is part of recommendations contained in a report compiled by a taskforce that sought to find ways of turning around the fortunes of the country’s oldest communications service provider.

“We need to develop a staff rationalisation plan because Postal Corporation of Kenya has a higher staff than it needs and one that is unsustainable,” said Postmaster General Dan Kagwe yesterday.

According to data from the industry regulator Communications Authority of Kenya, (CA), the firm posted Sh13.9 billion in annual revenue in 2008 from letters, parcels and a nascent money transfer and banking business.

Over the last seven years, however, PCK revenues have reduced almost five-fold and by 2014 had dwindled to Sh3.6 billion.

The new management says that success of the State corporation in a changing world will depend on injecting fresh blood into the business.

“More than 40 per cent of PCK’s workforce is over 55 years old and 20 per cent will have to retire in the next year or so,” said Mr Kagwe. “Eventually we would like to energise the business.

“In the courier business, for example, you need employees to have an average age of 25 years because of the amount of physical labour and hours involved.”

The staff rationalisation is the latest move by the company to seek ways of stemming large operating costs and diversify its income streams in the communications sector.

Last month, PCK sought permission from the CA to increase local stamp charges by more than 200 per cent from Sh15 to Sh50.

Data from the CA sector statistics report indicates that the number of letters sent within the country in the second quarter of the 2016/17 financial year stood at 15.8 million, down from 17.6 million sent in a similar period the previous year.

PCK also says private courier operators are encroaching on its market of delivering letters less than 350 grammes.

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