Government urged to re-think 'family silver' s...

Government urged to re-think 'family silver' sell-off as Royal Mail profits surge

21 May 2013

Britain’s largest union, Unite, warned the government against selling off the ‘family silver’ to make a quick buck, as Royal Mail reported a surge in profits today (21 May).

Accusing the government of short-termism, the union which represents over 7,000 Royal Mail managers, warned that the planned autumn sell-off would deny the Treasury a steady stream of revenue over the long-term.

With today’s rise in profits showing Royal Mail can flourish under government ownership, the union urged the government to reconsider its plans, warning that privatisation would lead to rising costs for business and an end of a universal postal service.

Profits over the last year rose from £153 million to £403 million with revenues up to £7.63 billion from £7.18 billion.

Commenting Unite national officer Ian Tonks said: “Today’s rise in profits is down to the hard work of the workforce and the loyalty of Royal Mail customers who will face rising prices if the sell-off goes ahead.

“Privatising the Royal Mail to make a quick buck will deny the Treasury of a steady stream of income over the long-term and spell the end to the universal service that rural communities rely on.

“The rise in profits shows that government ownership can work. Yet still it wants to press ahead with selling off a piece of the family silver that even Margaret Thatcher refused to contemplate.

“The government needs to ditch its sell-off plans and recognise that Royal Mail can profit and flourish as a public service under government control.”  


For more information please contact Unite head of media Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665 869.  

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.