The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has opposed the UK government’s plan to sell its remaining 30% stake in Royal Mail.
The announcement to sell the remaining shares was made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, last Thursday (June 4) following the reelection of the Conservative party in the UK. In his speech, the Chancellor said the funds raised would be used to pay back some of the UK’s national debt.
Should the sale go ahead, Royal Mail would become fully privatized after the majority of its shares had previously been floated on the London Stock Exchange in October 2013 for £3.30 (US$5) a share.
Responding to the announcement, Dave Ward, general secretary of the CWU, said, “The announcement shows the Tories’ true colors, they don’t stand up for working people; instead they are only interested in privatization dogma and making the rich richer.
“Neither do they have any interest in maintaining services to the public. Selling off the final 30% of Royal Mail threatens the very existence of the one-price-goes-anywhere, six-day delivery service that Royal Mail provides to 29 million UK addresses.
“When the first part of this privatization was completed by the coalition we were told that this was because Royal Mail needed private capital to invest in its future, but if you ask the workforce they have seen hardly any new investment but have witnessed the worst type of short term investors making a killing without any regard to the long term future of the company or the services it provides to the public.
“As a minimum, if this government wanted to say they were interested in the workers then they could at least increase the workers’ stake in the company. The CWU will oppose this final part of the sell-off and continue to campaign against unfair competition and the race to the bottom, which privatization inevitably brings.
“Both existing and any new shareholders should be in no doubt any attempt to undermine the legally binding agreement that protects Royal Mail workers’ terms and conditions will be defended if necessary through strike action.”
June 9, 2015