CWU vote “No” to Royal Mail privatisation

By Chris Dawson June 20, 2013 - 10:22 am

CWUThe CWU have announce the result of their consultative ballot with unsurprising results. CWU workers voted almost unanimously:

Q1: Do you oppose the privatisation of Royal Mail?

YES 96%

Q2: Do you support the boycott of competitors’ mail?

Royal Mail featYES 92%

Q3: Do you support the CWU Pay claim?

YES 99%

Q4: Do you support the policy of non-cooperation?

YES 92%

Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: “No-one has yet asked postal workers what they think about privatisation. Today postal workers have spoken loud and clear with a massive 96% roundly rejecting the government’s plans to privatise Royal Mail. The workforce does not support the government or Royal Mail on selling the company. This company is flourishing in public ownership as the recent doubling of profits proves. It’s becoming less clear what this policy is about. Why privatise this profitable company?

Royal Mail responded saying “Any sale is a matter for the UK Government“. They added “Whether Royal Mail is publicly or privately owned, the six-day-a-week, one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service is enshrined in law. It can only be changed by both Houses of Parliament. Ofcom, the independent regulator, has a primary duty to protect the Universal Service. It has ruled out any changes to the scope of the Universal Service”.

“A change of ownership does not affect terms and conditions of our employees. All terms and conditions and collective agreements that apply to employees would remain in place were there to be a change in ownership of the company. While no one can rule out changes in the future, this has always been the case.

Ballot is not a vote to strike

It’s worth noting that the CWU’s consultative ballot is not a ballot for industrial action and that Royal Mail believes that any direction by the Communication Workers Union that postmen and women should refuse to handle Access letters and parcels would be unlawful.

You can read CWU’s statement in full on the CWU website and Royal Mail have published a full response setting out their position.

Should Royal Mail be privatised?

Here at Tamebay HQ we’re not desperately in favour of a privatised Royal Mail. Any privatised company still be bound by the Universal Service obligation which would doubtless result in uneven competition with their competitors but the postal service is something every single person in the country benefits from, and especially so for ecommerce retailers. If necessary we’d rather see a tax payer subsidised Royal Mail providing great service and the CWU agrees but point out that the Royal Mail is “not a burden on the state and doesn’t take any grants“.

The CWU explain that privatisation isn’t the only option citing Network Rail as public body which has borrowed billions on private capital markets without it adding to the public debt or causing the government to “choose between funding hospital and schools” or the business, as it has claimed in respect to Royal Mail.

  • Stuart
    5 years ago

    I am not for making it private, but it does need a massive sought out! Watchdog last night proved that with this nonsense about parcel sizes.

    If they just got the basics right it would be a very good start…it’s not that hard is it?

  • northumbrian
    5 years ago

    the quicker the better Royal mail is privatised the better,
    get rid of the old ways and deals,
    thin out bloated middle managment, operate on a for profit ethos, not as a public service, knowing your likely to get a bail out if you dont get it right

    • Danny
      5 years ago

      Privatisation and ‘a for profit ethos’ means it will cost more in the long-run to use the service –
      This is the case proven from previous privatisations – Notably utilities, water, gas & electric…

      Undoubtably, the focus of a ‘for profit’ business is primarily its shareholders…

      Given we are currently all equal shareholders in a publicly funded organisation, I would prefer to see the continued focus of Royal Mail be to each and every citizen of the UK.

      Rather than funding a minority of money-men (& women) who could be dotted anywhere in the globe & banking their tax-free dividends in Switzerland or the Carribean…
      Bleeding Britain dry

    • Jimbo
      5 years ago

      I agree with Danny.

    • northumbrian
      5 years ago

      cost more in tax ? and flounder, or make profit and compete

  • elvis
    5 years ago

    I’m backing the CWU on this one. Privatisation is a massive NO from me.

  • northumbrian
    5 years ago

    if the CWU had their way it would still be penny blacks and a stagecoach

  • 5 years ago

    Penny Blacks I think that I would Vote for a First Class Letter costing just 1 old penny rather than the 60 pence it costs now. There was also multiple posts per day and the first post of the day meant that the mail was there on the breakfast table when you got up to go to work. Also of course you could post a letter in London to Newcastle and get a reply back the same day.

    There were still Stage Coaches when the Penny Black was in use but the Railway Network was rapidly expanding across the Country and as a Railway was built so the local Stage Coach was taken off.

    So if that what the CWU is really wanting then I am with them. However I suspect that it is not what they want. What they want is a continuation of the status quo where the Royal Mail is stuffed full of incompetence and corruption from top to bottom with a Management that is rotten and weak and the CWU can get away with anything.

  • northumbrian
    5 years ago

    in all honesty public or private we dont really care, ,just delivery of the mail at a reasonable cost reliably is all we require,
    the cwu holds business to ransom every couple of years by strikes and industrial unrest, privatisation might stop them , couldvthis be why they are worried.?

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