Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/393/4464

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 May 2005

Royal Mail privatisation threat after workers deliver record profits

ROYAL MAIL bosses are planning to borrow £2 billion from the government so that they can partly privatise the company by giving shares to the workforce.

A Royal Mail worker and Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) member

At the same time last year’s profits have been declared as £537 million, out of which £200 million will be paid back to postal workers in the form of £1,074 bonuses. These profits have been made as a result of cost savings across all parts of the business. 33,000 jobs have been got rid of, and in the Letters part of Royal Mail, single daily delivery and the mail centre review have led to ‘efficiency’ savings, with the removal of 1,250 walks.

The "Share in Success" bonuses are one way in which Royal Mail bosses are sweetening up the workforce to accept privatisation. In the "Be in to Win" scheme, employees are offered the chance to win new cars or holidays worth up to £2,000 if they do not take any sick absence for six or 12 months.

In this year's pay round, Letters staff will receive 50% of cost savings made by their local office, and Post Office Ltd counters staff have "unlimited potential for exceeding targets".

If this sounds all too good to be true - it is! Compare the wages earned by postmen and women, counter staff and other front-line workers with the huge salaries and bonuses of senior managers. Chief executive Adam Crozier for instance ‘earned’ £3 million last year. The £537 million profits are what has been stolen from the workforce - and the management are kindly handing less than half of it back in the form of a ‘bonus’.

All this is a prelude to the government and Royal Mail preparing to privatise the industry by the back door. They are trying to soften us up so that we accept that if we are given a few shares we will all have an interest in the business.

This is nonsense. In practice, this will not result in workers' democracy but in big investors snapping up the shares at bargain-basement prices. The average postal worker will be tempted to sell their shares to supplement their low wages.

In Russia, after the restoration of capitalism, all the state-owned companies were split up and every citizen given vouchers. But unemployment was rising so fast that many workers immediately sold their vouchers to big investors such as Abramovich, who rapidly cornered the oil and gas industry.

Workers in BT and British Gas under Thatcher in the 1980s were also handed free shares - most of them looked on it as a bonus. They never had illusions that they ‘owned’ these companies - so it will be with Royal Mail.

The CWU quite correctly is opposing this back door privatisation. We should fight back by means of mass action, showing we refuse to be conned. If the government go ahead with this then the CWU should organise action against privatisation, starting with a one-day strike. It is in the interests of all workers to keep Royal Mail in the public sector.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 19 May 2005:

Public health not private profit

More bad news for economy

Hands off incapacity benefit

Standing for socialism at Blackheath High

Football: Fans protest at billionaire’s takeover

Desperate smears on George Galloway

E=mc2 - how Einstein changed our understanding of the universe

Revolt and repression in Uzbekistan

USA: Time to mobilise and fight back

The curse of long working hours

Royal Mail privatisation threat after workers deliver record profits

Firefighters urge union to face up to challenges

Week-long strike at London Met

Calls for an end to trade union passivity at Amicus conference


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 May 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Royal Mail:

triangleRoyal Mail forced back under threat of action

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangleSet for national strike action

triangleCWU strike ballot to win 'Four Pillars'

Profits:

triangleAirwave jobs strike

triangleBosses get pay-offs, workers get layoffs

trianglePublic services

Privatisation:

triangleNorthants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

triangleWe can win the fight for the NHS

triangleTeachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

CWU:

triangleBT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

Shares:

triangleCapita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/2/18

UCU

Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

21/2/18

Strike

German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

21/2/18

Cardiff

Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success

21/2/18

Nottingham

Nottingham hospital black alert

21/2/18

East Midlands

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

21/2/18

West Midlands

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference

21/2/18

Wales

Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead

21/2/18

Bradford

Bradford protests against kids' service cuts

21/2/18

May Day

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!

21/2/18

Kirklees

Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

21/2/18

Salford

Save Salford nurseries!

21/2/18

Caerphilly

Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

21/2/18

Council

Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

21/2/18

Leicester

Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!

21/2/18

UCU

Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999