Rico Back is pushing a five-year plan called “Journey 2024”, to build Royal Mail Group into a multinational parcel giant. This will go hand in hand with a “relentless focus on efficiency” to hike profits. The Universal Service Obligation that is the final shield legally protecting the public service, customer rights and the workforce itself will be the victims of these global ambitions.
Privatisation was a con. Investors piled in, in 2013, to take advantage of the Tory-Lib Dems’ undervaluation. Hedge funds and millionaires made staggering profits of £100 million, selling 42% of shares in the first day to cash in on the skyrocketing share price. Alongside speculation, £1 billion in dividends have gone to big shareholders since 2013.
As the quick profits dried up from asset stripping and efficiency gains became limited by the 2018 Four Pillars agreement, RM profits and the share price fell last year. Enter new CEO Rico Back and the new strategy.
Royal Mail has expanded GLS into Canada and the US, buying up parcel companies. It remains the largest UK postal operator, and these chancers are using it as a bridgehead to build a multinational operator in the global parcels market… over the bones of the old public service.
Ultimately our terms and conditions are incompatible with the profit motive. In a casualised delivery market the privatisers will always be back, no matter how many times they are defeated – so a victory should be the first step in the fight for renationalisation.
We will have the chance to elect a Labour government in the coming months, and demand it reverses the privatisation that has led to this dispute. They should seize Royal Mail without a penny in compensation to the millionaire financiers who have squeezed the company for profit, and who made a mint buying its stock cheap and selling dear. As part of the fight for a democratic economy, we should campaign for the whole sector to be nationalised and merged into a quality delivery infrastructure, under workers’ and consumers’ control.