Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/861/20967
Regulator eyes Royal Mail for profit
Carl Harper, CWU Eastern 5 branch
Communications regulator Ofcom has announced a "fundamental review" of Royal Mail. This could be the next step in turning the former state postal service, privatised in 2013, into a for-profit business.
Ofcom claims the review will "ensure regulation remains appropriate and sufficient to secure the universal postal service." However, the regulator will do this by reviewing Royal Mail's "performance". This is a coded expression for driving down working conditions.
The regulator has refused to act on complaints by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) about unfair competition - and the 'race to the bottom' in terms and conditions it creates. But now the collapse of private delivery firms City Link and Whistl means attacks can begin on Royal Mail, so Ofcom has sprung into life!
Royal Mail will face the same drive for profit over service which ruined City Link and Whistl. This will be disguised as a demand for greater 'efficiency'. As well as postal workers, it will undoubtedly have a negative effect on the public.
Gas, electricity, water, rail and post were once publicly owned. They are now in private hands, and 'regulated' accordingly. The first four of those services are now among the most expensive in Europe, making fat profits. Royal Mail remains one of the cheapest - so it is no surprise this bosses' government has sent its regulator in.
The CWU missed the opportunity to call strikes against Royal Mail privatisation, despite strong indications members were willing. Labour opposition was non-existent.
Now it is imperative the membership is mobilised to fight attacks on our terms and conditions, and the quality and cost of the service. The National Shop Stewards Network conference on 4 July will be an ideal opportunity to discuss this.
In The Socialist 24 June 2015:
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