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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 June 2015

Regulator eyes Royal Mail for profit

Carl Harper, CWU Eastern 5 branch
Photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

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.

Expensive

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.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 24 June 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

City of London fills with defiance against austerity

After huge anti-austerity demos: organise the fightback!

Child poverty soars

Youth Fight Austerity!

Them & Us


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Why I joined

Laying the foundation stones of the workers' movement

Theatre review: The Red Lion


Socialist Party features

Can Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership challenge help to develop the socialist left?

What next for the NHS?


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Syriza backtracks

International news in brief


Socialist Party workplace news

Prentis pushed to talk up action

Transport workers plan fightback

Regulator eyes Royal Mail for profit

Workplace news in brief

Strike in Swansea to defend home tuition jobs

Outsourced workers' pay strike


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Campaigning for the victims of police brutality

Wales: Local Government reorganisation threat

Scotland anti-austerity rally, Glasgow

Labour wields Tory axe at Library of Birmingham

Hull: A new generation of activists

Growing the party in Sheffield

Socialist bake-off at London picnic


 

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Related links:

Royal Mail:

trianglePosties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

trianglePostal workers' action results in double victory for union

trianglePostal workers force Royal Mail back

triangleRoyal Mail dispute: Interview with a CWU branch secretary

trianglePostal workers' anger over profits before health and safety

Profit:

triangleCapitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine

triangleUnder the microscope

triangleTories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system

triangleCapitalism's 'vaccine war' shows need for socialist cooperation

CWU:

triangleOppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

triangleBattle with BT management needed to win real pay rise

triangleCoronavirus workplace news in brief

City Link:

trianglePaul Reilly for RMT EC

triangleThem & Us

Competition:

triangleCoronavirus: international cooperation needed, not capitalist competition

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