Britain’s largest union, Unite, warned against another Royal Mail ‘fire sale’ which would short-change taxpayers and deprive the Treasury of a steady stream of income over the long-term.
The warning came as chancellor George Osborne announced plans to sell the government’s remaining 30 per cent stake in Royal Mail, leading to accusations from the union that it was selling off the last pieces of ‘family silver’ to pay for self-defeating austerity.
The sell-off of the remaining stake comes two years after Royal Mail’s controversy ridden flotation which created a political storm. As well as accusations that the company was sold off on the cheap, the sale also saw preferential treatment for a number of investors including the investment arm of the government’s independent advisor on the sale.
Commenting Brian Scott the Unite officer representing Royal Mail managers said: “This fire sale by the chancellor will short change taxpayers and deny the Treasury of a steady stream of income over the long-term.
“Selling off the last remnants of the family silver to pay for self-defeating austerity will further undermine the future of the universal postal service.
“It is likely that this will be another mishandled sale and we would urge the government to think again and retain its stake in Royal Mail.
“The recent demise of Whistl, despite cherry picking mail deliveries and ignoring over 50 per cent of the country, demonstrates that the delivery of letters to homes and to businesses is a natural monopoly and one which government has a responsibility to maintain.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.