Royal Mail is about to get a makeover and a new boss if a bill takes hold that will be introduced in the Autumn to Parliament. Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has revealed plans for a bill to allow the sell-off of Royal Mail. It is believed he is seeking total privatization for the Royal Mail which would include share offers to employees.
Unions have promised to fight any privatization of Royal Mail. Billy Hays, general secretary of the postal workers’ union, CWU, said: “Privatisation would be devastating for Royal Mail and the whole country’s services.”
In an interview with BBC radio Cable said: “We are not proposing to keep a government stake. Royal Mail will become privately owned and there will be a share for the workers within that company.”
The coalition government sees a need to raise capital for the Royal Mail. A makeover to the program is a possibility too. It has been suggested that perhaps deliveries could be reduced to 5 days per week versus the current 6. Another possibility is that other postal delivery operators could be given responsibilities of deliveries in different areas of the country. One main problem is that Royal Mail is operating at a loss when serving remote areas of the country.
While Cable’s interview made it appear that this was a “done deal” and that the government would allow total sell off of the Royal Mail, a spokesman said that all options would remain on the table and would be considered until the bill introduction to Parliament in the next few months. Information in a report about the future of Royal Mail by Richard Hooper will also weigh heavily in making any decisions about the bill’s contents. The spokesman also noted that the government fully intended to retain current responsibility of worker’s pensions.