Rumours flying about all day, regarding all our work going to Swindon office. Managers being told they couldn't say anything until the meeting at 6. Union officials in frantic dashings around (when you could see them at all). And then the big meeting.
In which, we're informed that Gloucester and Reading mail centres will essentially be closed down and all the work transferred to Swindon. Planning permission is currently being sought, but will not be known until three months from now (which, coincidentally, would be just after the massive Christmas rush. Yes, I am a cynic). After looking at all the sites, there is apparently no way that the needed automation changes and greater, wider machines will be able to fit into our site, so sooner or later, even if the Swindon planning permission isn't granted, we're going. (Oh, and it's also total coincidence that Reading and Gloucester, the two sites that Royal Mail actually own, are the ones that'll be sold off. Yes, still a cynic.)
So, what does this mean for me? Almost certainly a change in career. Even though RM have promised no compulsory redunecies, the best they can probably come up with will be transfers of the jobs in question to Swindon. And as I can't drive, there's no way I'll be able to do that commute every day. So, career change.
The major question now hanging over us is did the mail centre manager say closing in 2008, or by 2008. Either way, I suspect that things will be a lot tenser from March 07 onwards.