Stop the final part of privatization of Royal Mail

In the term so far we have had a number of motion on the postal service in London

The closure of Post Offices particularly the Crown ones

and the reduction & poor performance of the Postal Service across London in response to the part-privatization allowing TNT into delivery competition.

Since the botched part-privatization of Royal Mail by Vince Cable we now have the full privatization of the Royal Mail by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne – something even Margaret Thatcher would not have considered as she famously said, she ” wasn’t prepared to have the Queen’s Head privatized “

With the competition being withdrawn by Whistl, this final privatization will give over a public monopoly to becoming a private monopoly after almost 500 years of public service to us and see the asset-stripping its large land-holdings of Royal Mail in Greater London. 

The full privatization of the Royal Mail will mean;

the loss of a public voice in Postal Services like no consultation on PO closures and a commercially driven Royal Mail looking to down-grade Universal Service Obligation (USO) which will even affect Central London post codes!

All this when the Royal Mail last year made an operating profit of £600m and paid out ten’s of millions in dividends each year. 

We have also have institutional investors rather ” friends in the City ” buying up shares in Royal Mail since Osborne announcement. 

Ironically this including the Norges Bank – state bank of Norway and its sovereign wealth fund of Norway investing in Royal Mail when the UK government is selling it off. 

We also have up to 10,000 people employed by the Royal Mail in London and this privatization doesn’t bode well for employment standards in the Postal industry particularly after what we saw with TNT/Whistl offered their workers when entering the delivery market. The stories of mail dumping by employees of Whistl on zero hour minimum wage contracts illustrates well the connection between quality of service and terms and condition of employment.

We also have the asset stripping of the remaining major sites in London like Nine Elms and Paddington. After the undersale of Rathbone Place and the fasico of Mount Pleasant this is very real. With Rathbone Place we had Portland Estates buying it for £120m only to have recently valued at £500m. With Mount Pleasant we only have 12 per cent affordable housing after Mayoral intervention over the heads of the local councils. 

These land asset should be used to deliver housing across all tenures in the capital and not have venture capital stripping such assets. 

So this motion calls on the Mayor, to defend London’s postal service and ensure the Royal Mail land assets are used to deliver housing in London across all tenure by arguing for the government to retain its 15 per cent stake in Royal Mail and committing to protecting the USO. All this by strengthen the position of Royal Mail in the Postal Services Act. 

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