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Royal Mail and CWU on privatisation

By Chris Dawson September 13, 2013 - 1:03 am

Royal Mail have put out a press release regarding the privatisation announced today. We don’t normally publish press releases verbatim on Tamebay, but we’ll make an exception today and also add what the CWU had to say.

Royal Mail are very insistent that the following information “is not for distribution in the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan or any other jurisdiction where such distribution would be unlawful“, so if you’re in the US please stop reading now.

Moya Greene, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Mail said

Royal Mail feat“The Government has initiated the process for Royal Mail’s privatisation and has dispelled any doubt over the future ownership of the business. It is now time for Royal Mail and the CWU to come to a new agreement for our people going forward. Talk of a ballot for industrial action makes no sense when there is a significant three-year deal on the table and negotiations are ongoing.

I understand our people’s concern that they should have protections in place as Royal Mail is privatised, which is why we have proposed a ground-breaking three-year, legally-binding agreement including a highly competitive pay offer of 8.6 per cent. But the company and our customers need protections too. We want to ensure that, in future, any disputes are settled through dialogue, mediation and arbitration.

It is because our customers trust us and value the service we provide, that there should not be a strike at this crucial time. If businesses can’t rely on us, they will look elsewhere to protect their own business.

The CWU recognises the need for us to access capital. In government ownership we have had to compete with the NHS, schools, roads and defence. We will also pay less interest on our company debt in the private sector than we do in the public sector. Access to private capital and a successful company is the best way to ensure secure employment for our people, who will be given a meaningful stake in the business.

We have done a lot for the people and our company, through a better more collaborative relationship. We need to build on that. At the end of the day, the most durable protection for everyone who works in this business is a successful Royal Mail trusted for reliability by the people whom we serve.”

All this is pretty much a repeat of what Business Minister Michael Fallon has been spouting today on pretty much every news programme. The CWU as expected are vehemently opposed saying “the plans to sell are a betrayal of the British public – 70% of whom are against privatisation according to a Sunday Times poll at the weekend.”

They also materially disagree with the government and Moya Greene comments.

Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said:

Save Our Royal Mail Sm“This isn’t about what’s best for the Royal Mail, it’s about vested interests of government ministers’ mates in the City. Privatisation is the worst way to access to capital as it’s more expensive than borrowing under public ownership. There’s no competition with money for schools and hospitals as the government would have you believe – look at Network Rail which has borrowed billions on private markets at cheaper rates under an arrangement which doesn’t affect public debt. This is simply about dogma from old fashioned Tories wedded to privatisation..

Strike Ballot details

The CWU also announced details of their strike ballot, the first national strike ballot since 2009. Ballot papers are due to go out to 125,000 Royal Mail and Parcelforce (but not Post Office) workers on the 20th of September with a result to be announced on the 3rd of October. If there was a yes vote, the union would then be able to give 7 days’ notice for strike action, with the earliest strike action possible from the 10th of October.

  • Lynne
    4 years ago

    So we have strikes to look forward to from October the 10th , the feeling from the Royal Mail workers is that it will be on but we will just have to see what the ballot produces.

  • 4 years ago

    Just what we really needed as we start to build up towards Christmas. Isn’t there a single Tory Politician(because I cannot see these proposals coming from the Lib-Dem side of the Government) with an IQ greater than that of a Baked Bean.

    Why oh Why could they have not waited until after Christmas. Say Mid January before they started the ball rolling?

  • Adam Harper
    4 years ago

    Foolishness!! Cameron said “Britain is open for business” yet how do ever rising prices help business in this country? Especially when UK-based businesses face subsidised postal services around the world (e.g. China/HK).

    Lots of brown envelopes flying about, I expect (and I don’t mean business parcels!).

  • northumbrian
    4 years ago

    one things for certain the cwu going on strike will not save one single job, ask the miners?

    • Dan
      4 years ago

      The miners were not just asking to save their jobs –
      The point was they wanted their children & the next generation in the community to have the same opportunities for work as they had themselves…
      Sadly, the fact is, employment did not arrive in these communities until the late 1990s…
      Just had to mention that –

      On the Royal Mail – Privatisation doesn’t work for the majority of us –
      It benefits those who can buy shares – The minimum price being proposed is £700 –
      Rules me out – And plenty more – #feudalism

    • Peter King
      4 years ago

      Surely a nationalised industry has more in common with feudalism than one in private ownership.

    • 4 years ago

      Surely Nationalised Industries are owned by us the people of the Country. Yet when did we get asked our opinion or if there was some sort of Opinion Poll when did the powers that be take the slightest notice of our views?

      If you look back over the history of Nationalised Industries the ‘Bosses’ tended to be failed or superannuated Politicians or Bureaucrats.

      Some Industries such as the BBC seems to make its own rules and carry on in its own sweet way totally forgetting that it is us(or those paying the TV Licence) who are paying for their excesses.

      The only trouble is that the Privatised Companies are just as bad. At least with some such as the Power Companies and the Airlines and BT there is effective competition so if you want to you can change providers. However there is no competition for such as the Water Companies.

      With RM we are still going to be stuck with RM in whatever form it takes post privatisation. If you want to send a letter or parcel except for a few much smaller companies that often have their own issues there will be no effective alternative for most of us.

      But is it Feudalism? I really doubt if that is the right word. What it is is a giant Millstone around the necks of the people and especially of business in the UK.