Updated: Fri, 13 Sep 2013 14:33:40 GMT | By Press Association

Royal Mail staff get shares details

Some 150,000 Royal Mail workers will start receiving details of the offer of free shares in the company under the Government's privatisation plan today.


Some 150,000 Royal Mail workers are to start receiving details of the offer of free shares in the company under the Government's privatisation plan

Some 150,000 Royal Mail workers are to start receiving details of the offer of free shares in the company under the Government's privatisation plan

Some 150,000 Royal Mail workers will start receiving details of the offer of free shares in the company under the Government's privatisation plan today.

The controversial sell-off has set ministers on a collision path with the unions, with the possibility of strike action just as potential investors are being courted to buy a stake in the business.

The free shares offer makes 10% of Royal Mail available to employees at the time of flotation, but the sweetener has failed to convert opponents to the scheme.

Information on the free scheme, together with details of a priority shares offer for staff wanting to buy a larger stake in the firm, will drop through the letterboxes of eligible workers from today.

Royal Mail Group's chief executive officer Moya Greene said: "Our people are the heart of our business at Royal Mail. By owning 10% of the company, together we will have a meaningful stake in the business.

"I think this will engage everyone and encourage us to continue to work together to build a great future for Royal Mail."

Ministers said the flotation would allow the business to modernise, but they were attacked by unions and opposition politicians, with claims that the Government was "selling off the family silver".

The scale of anger was highlighted by a noisy reception given to Ms Greene as she addressed a meeting in Birmingham of more than 1,500 local officials of the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

She was booed, heckled and greeted with laughter when she defended the sell-off.

The union will now press ahead with balloting its members for strike action in protest at issues linked to privatisation.

CWU general secretary Billy Hayes said: "This isn't about what's best for the Royal Mail, it's about vested interests of Government ministers' mates in the City.

"Privatisation is the worst way to access to capital as it's more expensive than borrowing under public ownership."

Members of the public will be able to apply for shares - at a minimum of £750 - as well as institutional investors.

Analysts expect the sell-off will make up to £3 billion.

Shadow businesss secretary Chuka Umunna said: "Ministers are pushing ahead with this politically-motivated fire sale of Royal Mail to fill the hole left by George Osborne's failed plan.

"This is taking place despite opposition from a huge coalition including the Conservative Bow Group, the Countryside Alliance, the National Federation of Subpostmasters, the cross-party BIS Select Committee as well as Royal Mail employees themselves.

"The Government has not addressed the huge concerns which remain on the impact the Royal Mail sale will have on consumers, businesses and communities, but ministers are ploughing on regardless."

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: "It is the final step to help modernise the business and allow it to invest in the future."

He said the Government was aiming for a majority sale so that Royal Mail could access capital markets like any other British business.

At least 50% of the business will be sold, although Mr Fallon would not give exact details of the size of the sale and would not estimate how much money will be raised.

He said there was "sufficient appetite" from investors to justify going ahead with the sell-off.

Asked about the prospect of a strike by postal workers, he said: "Strike action will not derail the sale.

"There is no need for strike action - a pay rise of 8.6% over three years has been offered. Teachers and nurses are only getting 1%."

Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey said: "This move is being driven by blinkered right-wing dogma that has ridden roughshod over public opinion which is strongly opposed to the sell-off of this national institution.

"We predict that the sell-off will lead to worse services for business and the general public, particularly in rural areas, as well as job losses, when private companies try to squeeze the last drop of profit out of the Royal Mail."

130Comments
12/09/2013 08:44
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It is a disgrace, very soon it will be super expensive to send any mail at all but if you are sending it to a Rural adress it will be a going concern and very slow to get there.
I have seen first hand how poor the Canadian postal service operated and how expensive it was to send even the smallest package anywhere.

The Woman who was the brains behind that is now at the helm of the Royal Mail pulling the strings and the standards of service in the UK have already dropped and become expensive. Canada is a Massive country compared to the tiny UK so it is much more expensive to move mail around, the UK is a little country so it should be far far cheaper to deliver mail, it isnt and it will be even more expensive  very soon.
The Uk streets are already a mess with horrible pram like things chained to lamposts everywhere so that sorting offices could be shut down to save money, the mail is sorted on the streets in some cases and is no longer secure.
The workers will lose jobs and everything will be done on the cheap to help to fund dividend hungry shareholders as usual. Privatisation in the UK does not work for the consumer it only works for the companies. Look at the state of the trains and the Gas and Electric and the telephones and the railways. Poor service, skeleton staff workforce on low pay and High prices to the consumer with 3rd rate investment back in to the business.

Lets hope that this  theft  is stopped and also that the NHS is kept safe, otherwise some of us that cannot afford expensive health insurance will have to rely on a Charity to help us should we or a family member fall ill or have an accident.

12/09/2013 09:07
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Have the Tories not learned from the railways fiasco? British Gas? Water? Electricity? 

We DO NOT WANT our national assets to be sold off! It's short term gain for the current government but long term loss for the people, as we all know from bitter experience!

Cameron & Co. I can't wait until you're ousted.


12/09/2013 08:47
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We gave away BRITISH GAS   WATER   ELECTRICITY why not  we all know who it will hurt the workers and us in the POCKET
12/09/2013 08:52
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Since when has this government give a toss about what the electorate think? This privatisation may well be a good thing for the Post Office in terms of cost and efficiency, but the post Office is also about "Community". We all know that the modern thinking in the Private Business Sector involves slashing costs to the bone and driving down wages through any means possible (including zero hours contracts and low cost immigrant workers)

This government probably believes, with just cause, that it will not be re-elected and has chosen to do the Maggie Thatcher thing of selling off out prize assetts in order to feather their own nest even more than they are already feathered. What a bunch of sleaze bags. No matter what the electorate wish to blame Labour for, they have never sold the working man (and his job) down the river.
12/09/2013 09:07
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Freakin' disgrace!
I thought "WE" owned the Royal Mail.

Must have been wrong.

I don't want to sell it!

12/09/2013 08:48
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 privatise the Royal Mail what next the land we walk on.i don't agree with privatisation it gives people

the power to **** things up.

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typical tories sell off public owned companies to their friends and get back handers from them to line their pockets 

what happened to the money when they sold off everything else  we the people of Britain owned them so we should of received a share each but no f**k the poor  lets make rich richer
12/09/2013 09:10
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Why don't they sell the whole country, the a**holes have sold everything else.
12/09/2013 09:28
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Forgive my ignorance, but should our taxes now be amended to relieve the running of the Royal Mail?

Surely if they are privatising RM, whatever portion of taxpayers money goes into funding it should no longer be paid?
12/09/2013 09:25
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Oh my God! It's British Gas all over again. If you see Sid, tell him not to bother. I suppose the next step will be other mail service providers springing up, supposedly in competition, but actually following each other like sheep in forever driving up prices while at the same time driving down standards of service and quality. Just like all the energy providers. Trust me, history will repeat itself.
12/09/2013 09:45
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Wasn't the Post Office established under the Royal Warrant of King Henry VIII? If so can they maintain the crown logo. Is it it theirs to sell? They are selling of our history. As far as I can see it belongs to the Crown and the people not a bunch of thieving free market spivs.
12/09/2013 08:50
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If it ain't nailed down, sell it and trouser the profits.
12/09/2013 09:36
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governments don't give a crap about you.
12/09/2013 09:32
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here we go again, all ready sold of the water now we are going for the post, must say the uk is going down hill day by day, we need david cameron out of power.
12/09/2013 09:21
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As a UK citizen and tax payer I already own it. 
If the incumbent government want to de-nationalise it, it should be split into equal shares and given free of charge to all British citizens.
But I don't want that to happen. 
12/09/2013 09:43
12/09/2013 09:52
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Why does the government instinctively make the wrong choice on almost everything it does, the 1.6billion tax give away to the overpaid when they lowered the top rate of tax completely dwarfs the miniscule amount they will scrape back with the bedroom tax. Both decisions were exactly the opposite of what the public wanted, selling off the Royal Mail is another thing  absolutely nobody is in favour of except a few politicians  with an eye on future non executive directorships. As for putting it in the hands of the employees and the public by issuing shares this will go exactly the same way as Gas, Electricity, Water Airports  the postal service will end up being owned by some hedge fund or a foreign entity with no interest  in  or intention of paying taxes in the UK .    
12/09/2013 09:38
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The Royal Mail belong to the people of Britain not the Tories. It is another case of lining the pockets of the rich again. And it can no longer be called Royal. Course if it goes wrong they will blame the labour party as they have for everything else. this nation is a mess with no thanks to them
12/09/2013 09:30
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How is it good business to privatise a company that has near monopoly?  How is this going to be fair for smaller operators and how is the public going to derive any net benefit from privatisation when it has been consistently proven it fails to deliver value for money for customers.

This is being done for entirely ideological reasons. As an institution it is one of the States success stories. Why can't they leave well alone. Isn't it bad enough were being bankrupted by high rail fairs, energy costs and telecoms. Bloody nepotistic meddling fools.
12/09/2013 09:51
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This will be by far the WORSE move to ever happen> It will cause disruption to already failing services cause unprecedented harm to business and public due to the failure to delivery services. Yet again another stupid move by this government what on earth are they thinking?

We cannot handle closed post offices across the country, the infirm especially will be hit not to mention the general public.

What this country needs is to take a stand and do something about it all, this country has been totally ruined I no longer even feel proud to be Briti**** total crap.

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