Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/861/20967
From The Socialist newspaper, 24 June 2015
Regulator eyes Royal Mail for profit
Carl Harper, CWU Eastern 5 branch
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.
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.
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
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.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
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
The Socialist 24 June 2015 |
Join the Socialist
| PDF | ebook