Public opinion against Royal Mail sell-off, says Unite

Public opinion against Royal Mail sell-off, says Unite

10 September 2013

Public opinion is strongly against the privatisation of the Royal Mail which is being done to boost George Osborne’s shaky finances, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Tuesday 10 September).

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke told TUC delegates today: “It is clear; the government is motivated by the chance to make a quick buck – a chance to sell off one of our prized assets at a massive cost to the taxpayer.

“It is an attempt to raise cash to spare the blushes of the chancellor and prime minister and their failing economic plan. Even Thatcher saw it as a step too far; Tories see votes going down the pan in their constituencies as people say “No to the sell off”.

Unite has 8,000 members working for the Royal Mail and Unite was seconding the motion by the CWU against privatisation of the Royal Mail, which is due to be sold off this autumn.

Tony Burke asked some tough questions of business secretary Vince Cable and his fellow ministers about this ‘ideologically-driven policy’.

“What safeguards does the government have in place for stamp prices, what safeguards are there to ensure easy access to Royal Mail locations following a sale?

“Will a private company keep an eye out for pensioners and the disabled as postal staff do their rounds?

“Will they walk the floors of tower blocks to deliver mail?

“Will small companies who rely on the mail for deliveries get the goods to the customer on time?”

Tony Burke said that even the minister leading the sell-off, business minister Michael Fallon agrees with the unions – only a few years ago he assured constituents that he did not agree with privatising the service. 

He added: “New polls show the public are against it. And the hardworking staff of Royal Mail say enough is enough. The government should dump the idea, admit they got it wrong and admit they have a weak case and no mandate for it.

“The Royal Mail is over 370 years old and provides universal postal services. It’s a service we all rely on and one we should be proud of, not to be sold off to the highest bidder.

“Privatisation must be halted – it is a quick fix to make a quick buck.”


For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940.

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.