Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/637/10188

From The Socialist newspaper, 9 September 2010

New Royal Mail boss sharpens her axe

The propaganda war over the privatisation of Royal Mail (RM) was stepped up last week when managers at my office briefed us on the intention of our new chief executive to suspend repayment of its government loan.

A Coventry postal worker

Moya Greene, former CEO of Canada Post, has been in the job less than three months but has hit the ground running in implementing the Con-Dem government's aim to sell us off. She says that if revenues continue to fall away, RM will be insolvent by Christmas. Quite how she came to that conclusion eludes me but then I'm a postie and she, and her predecessor Adam Crozier, are business wizards who can do no wrong - even when they are wrong!

In 2009 RM announced profits of 321 million. This year profits were up by 26% to 408 million. Not bad during the worst recession for 80 years.

There is an additional payment into the pension fund (because of the deficit) of 280 million each year. And on top of this, private 'downstream access companies' (dsa's) such as TNT, UK Mail etc, are subsidised by RM to the tune of 100 million each year because our board agreed a price to deliver their mail for less than cost.

So over the last two years, RM made 729 million profit. Add to this the 200 million subsidy we gave to our rivals, plus the 560 million cost of paying for a pension deficit which resulted from the suspension of employer contributions for nearly 15 years. Therefore our total profit could have been just under 1.5 billion - over just two years.

The problem lies not in a lazy, workshy workforce, or indeed in declining mail volumes but in complete incompetence at board level, not to mention the lopsided competition rules laid down by the regulator.

The pension fund deficit was 10.3 billion on 31 March 2009, it was reduced to 8.4 billion at 31 March 2010. Still a colossal sum but moving in the right direction.

Another thing about the deficit I must have missed, is why RM were allowed to take a 'payment holiday' for nearly 15 years. Surely someone would have realised that not paying into it would create a deficit?

Maybe the pension money was spent on the disastrous global expansion plan the RM board undertook in the late 1990s. They went round the world buying up second, third and even fifth rate parcel carriers at premium prices in an effort to increase revenue and open up new 'opportunities'. Right around the time the domestic monopoly in the letters market was being removed.

So instead of looking to consolidate and expand products and services at home, RM changed its name to Consignia and went global. But then the dotcom bubble burst, stockmarkets crashed and the parcel firms bought at a premium were now virtually worthless. Maybe I'm wrong but I'd still like to know where RM's pension contributions went because us workers carried on paying ours.

Let's assume that Moya Greene is right. We will be broke by Christmas if the government doesn't allow us to take a 'debt payment holiday'. If things really are so dire then how come Adam Crozier walked away with 3.5 million in pay, pension and bonuses? Why did his two lieutenants Mark Higson and Ian Duncan receive 3.1 million last year, compared to 1.2 million the year before? Doesn't sound like they did a very good job.

Us workers had a pay freeze last year to go with our extra duties. And the new agreement covering the next three years delivered a pay cut - and more work. It is also subject to 'economic circumstances', ie can be ignored at will.

Greene was at Canada Post for four years. Compared to the previous four years, during her tenure injuries at work rose 15.4%, grievances rose 59.3%, strike days went up from three to 36 and there was a shift away from the customer service ethos.

Greene also has experience of privatisation having previously sold off Canada National Railway (resulting in an increased number of derailments each year) and deregulating the airline industry. She also worked as a banker and has said: "There is a general belief in the private sector that public sector managers do not know anything." Oh dear.

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


In The Socialist 9 September 2010:

We can stop the Con-Dem cuts

Health workers' victory

National Shop Stewards Network lobby of the TUC


Socialist Students

We won't be a lost generation!

No to slave labour apprenticeships!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tony Blair - a journey to Thatcherism

Blair admits he was wrong...

Academies will lead to a two-tier education system

Jobs and services are facing axe in Cornwall


Socialist Party youth and students

Far right not welcome in Brighton

Con-Dems threaten EMA


Socialist Party workplace news

Solid strike on London Underground

London bus workers fight cuts

London: Unite members to strike against NHS privatisation

Corus Redcar - the real story

New Royal Mail boss sharpens her axe


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Fighting for the health service

The callous cutting of NHS Direct


Socialism 2010

Against cuts? Come to Socialism 2010


International socialist news and analysis

Russia: Motorway construction through Khimkinsky forest halted

Global food crisis reveals failure of capitalism


Socialist Party feature

No to Trident nuclear weapons


Socialist Party review

Zola's Germinal: still relevant today


 

Home   |   The Socialist 9 September 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Royal Mail:

triangleRoyal Mail court ruling - national reps meeting and solidarity action essential

triangleCWU's right to defend members is on the line

triangleCWU - ground laid for an almighty struggle

triangleHigh Court injunction: solidarity to the CWU - support the posties!

triangleDetermined to resist bosses' attacks

Pension:

triangleFrench workers demonstrating in Paris on Thursday 16 January; Now over 40 days of strike action have taken place against the government's attacks on pensions. Photo James Ivens

triangleFrance: Battle over pension rights continues

triangleWest London Socialist Party: French workers - fighting back against Macron

triangleMillions strike in France

Pay:

triangleWestex Carpet strike reaches two month mark

triangleNorthern Ireland: Thousands of nurses continue to strike for better pay

triangleHackney school bus workers win pay increase following strikes

Coventry:

triangleCoventry Socialist Party: Tories out! Corbyn in with socialist policies

triangleCoventry: 100 pack meeting against congestion charge

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

15/1/20

Young people

Young people who voted for Corbyn's manifesto will now ask... How can we win those ideas?

15/1/20

Scotland

Massive Scottish independence demo marks new stage in struggle

15/1/20

London

London: Protesters return to oppose Middle East war

15/1/20

Government

Cladding scandal: Government steps up defence of landlords

15/1/20

Nottingham

Nottingham: Youth protest against Barclays 64 million fossil-fuel investments

15/1/20

Strike

Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark

15/1/20

Newham

Stop gentrification in Newham: "We are here, you have consulted us and we're not going anywhere!"

15/1/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party national committee meeting

15/1/20

Hackney

Hackney school bus workers win pay increase following strikes

15/1/20

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: Thousands of nurses continue to strike for better pay

15/1/20

Buses

London bus drivers ballot to strike

15/1/20

PCS

PCS: Time to rebuild the left

15/1/20

Union

Union lawyer arrested on security guards' picket line

9/1/20

Unison

Unison national executive members challenge validity of nomination for Keir Starmer for leader of the Labour Party

8/1/20

Unions

Build union resistance to Tory attacks

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: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999