Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 June 2009

Royal Mail sell-off: time for action!

Communication Workers Union lobby of parliament over the privatisation of Royal Mail Feb 09, photo Paul Mattsson

Communication Workers Union lobby of parliament over the privatisation of Royal Mail Feb 09, photo Paul Mattsson

The Postal Services Bill has its first reading in the House of Commons on 9 June and the privateer sharks are circling. The latest to join the pack are CVC Partners, a private equity group. These privateers will spell disaster for the postal services and postal workers.

A Bristol postal worker

150 Labour MPs have signed a motion opposing the sell-off. This means Gordon Brown has to rely on the support of the Conservatives to get the bill through.

Peter Mandelson, the business secretary pushing for the sale of a 30% stake in Royal Mail, claims the sell-off will shake up the management and bring in fresh investment. But what's fresh about the stench of private equity outfits like CVC?

These firms are usually known for the management of asset-stripping in the pursuit of fast profit. What kind of postal service will be left for the public? Certainly not the present daily universal service to every home and business in the land.

Regardless of what Brown, Mandelson and the like claim, the reality is that Royal Mail is a profitable service. Despite the recession, Royal Mail has reported a yearly profit of 321 million. Their overall revenue is up 9.6 billion and all four core Royal Mail businesses show a profit for the first time in two decades.

During the same period the privately owned mail companies being courted by Mandelson all recorded losses. TNT saw its profits fall by 57% and Deutsche Post saw an annual loss of just under two billion euros.

The postal workers' pension deficit, being used by Mandelson as one of the reasons for the sell-off, is only in deficit as a result of decisions of the previous Tory government and the present Labour government.

It is they who took Royal Mail on a pension holiday, when for 13 years no money was paid into the pension fund.

Of course the postal workers who have to suffer the consequences carried on paying into it. Also, despite all the profit made from making postal workers work ever harder and longer, 181,000 are rewarded with a pay freeze.

It is now time for the CWU, the postal workers' union to tell Labour enough is enough. It's high time for CWU leader, Billy Hayes to replace his rhetoric with action.

CWU members are already under siege with the prospect of thousands of job losses, casualisation of full time work and worsening conditions. Now is the time for a ballot for strike action to fight the sell-off and a ballot on severing the union's political fund from the Labour Party.

  • Postal workers in London have voted by 9:1 to strike over cuts to jobs and services. Dates for action have not yet been announced.
  • Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

    In The Socialist 5 June 2009:

    Action to defend union rights

    Visteon pensioners battle on

    Vauxhall jobs threat - unions must organise a fightback

    Workplace news and analysis

    Royal Mail sell-off - Time for action!

    Fast news

    Tube workers vote to strike

    Bristol refuse workers strike

    Battling against the blacklist

    Glasgow care workers' success

    Socialist Party election campaign

    Prepare now for next election challenge

    European elections: Putting forward a workers' alternative

    A Question Time carve up

    Challenge these disgraced MPs

    A Parliament of celebrities and a speaker of integrity


    Aston University socialists fight for student democracy

    Sussex University: Save Linguistics campaign

    Socialist youth conference and protest

    Youth Fight for Jobs: Fortnight of action 27 June to 10 July

    Socialist Party feature

    NATO anniversary: 60 years of aggression and terror

    Socialist Party review

    The Frock-Coated Communist: the revolutionary life of Friedrich Engels

    Marxist analysis: history

    Tiananmen Square 1989: Counter-revolution crushes China's democracy movement


    Home   |   The Socialist 5 June 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

    Subscribe   |   Donate  

    Related links:

    Royal Mail:

    triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

    triangleSet for national strike action

    triangleCWU strike ballot to win 'Four Pillars'

    triangleEscalate summer strike wave into coordinated action to defeat the pay cap

    triangleCWU strike ballot - why I'm voting Yes

    Postal workers:

    triangleDoncaster: snap strike by posties pushes bully bosses back


    triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

    triangleThe end of the Tories?

    triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts


    triangleCWU members prepare for industrial action at Royal Mail

    triangleBosses' pensions robbery

    Reports and campaigns

    Reports and campaigns



    Justice for Tube cleaners demo



    Salford Unison condemns pay cuts


    Royal Mail

    CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike



    Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP



    Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish



    No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!



    Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg


    John McDonnell

    Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation



    Join the Orgreave Halloween rally



    Workplace news in brief


    Democratic rights

    Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights


    Northern Ireland

    Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs



    Too much to cross the Mersey


    Royal Mail

    Set for national strike action



    Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

    triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

    Join the Socialist Party
    Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
    Donate to the Socialist Party

    triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

    triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

    triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

    triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

    triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

    triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

    triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

    More ...

    triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

    triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

    triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

    triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

    More ...

    Socialist Party Facebook page
    Socialist Party on Twitter
    Visit us on Youtube



    October 2017

    September 2017

    August 2017

    July 2017

    June 2017

    May 2017

    April 2017

    March 2017

    February 2017

    January 2017




















    SP RSS feed RSS

    Platform setting: = No platform choice