THE newly-privatised Royal Mail is to axe 1,600 jobs in a cost-cutting drive, but it is not clear how workers in Worcestershire will be affected.

The company, which was controversially floated onto the stock market in October last year, announced the job losses yesterday (Tuesday) as part of a move to save £25 million in the coming financial year.

But bosses said the losses will apply mostly to managerial staff and not to postmen or women and services received by customers would not be affected.

Chief executive Moya Greene said consultations were set to begin with the Communication Workers Union and Unite.

"We are continuously improving our efficiency, whilst maintaining our high quality of service,” she said.

"We need to do so in order to effectively compete in the letters and parcels markets.

“This is the best way to ensure the continued delivery of the universal service and the good-quality jobs we provide for our people.”

But Royal Mail officer with Unite Brian Scott said strike action was a possibility in protest against the cuts.

“First the government sells off Royal Mail on the cheap and now the newly privatised service is ruthlessly sacrificing jobs,” he said.

"We do not believe that it's a coincidence that this announcement has been made just before the company prepares to announce its first full set of accounts since privatisation.

"It's more proof that Royal Mail's primary reason for existing is now about making profits rather than serving the nation.

"For all that Royal Mail managers have been through they do not deserve to be treated in this way.

"Unite is demanding a commitment to no compulsory redundancies on fair terms and an effective method for redeployment within the restructured organisation.

“If Royal Mail refuse, we will have no alternative than to consider a ballot for industrial action."

Following last year’s sell-off of the company, which saw share prices rocket from £3.30 to well above £5, Labour has accused the coalition government of short-changing the taxpayer by hundreds of millions of pounds.

The company has now ended the FTSE 100 index of top London-listed companies.

Deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union Dave Ward described the plans as “deeply concerning”.

"We understand that the majority of these job losses will mainly be head office managerial staff rather than postal workers but we will fight to protect as many jobs as possible,” he said.

"We are yet to see how many employees in CWU-represented grades will be affected."