Ian Murray MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs, commenting on reports today that of the privatisation of Royal Mail will begin next year, said:
“Royal Mail is one of the last publicly owned British institutions and whilst we always recognised that it needs investment and modernisation, we disagree on wholesale privatisation.
“There is now a real danger that the Government will sell this proud institution cheaply, and that customers could see a hike in prices and a reduction in levels of service. This can’t be allowed to happen with Royal Mail, or a fire sale of the profitable parts of Royal Mail whilst other areas wither on the vine. It is crucial that the future of Post Office branches are safeguarded.
“Royal Mail provides a vital service, not least to businesses across the UK, and we cannot afford to see uncontrolled pricing putting pressure on already hard pressed family budgets and small firms. In recent years we have seen considerable investment in Royal Mail with unions, employees and management coming together to agree on transformation and modernisation.
“Thousands of postal workers could be affected and both the Government and Royal Mail must work closely with trade unions and key stakeholders to do what is best for Royal Mail and its customers. We will always look positively on employee share ownership but questions need to be answered as to how shares will be distributed, what employees can do with them, and what real benefit it will bring.”