Magazine article Public Finance

Postal Workers Vote to Strike as Sell-Off Rebellion Looms

Magazine article Public Finance

Postal Workers Vote to Strike as Sell-Off Rebellion Looms

Article excerpt

A Labour backbench rebellion over the government's plans to part-privatise the Royal Mail could take place against a background of strikes by London postal workers.

Members of the Communications Workers Union in the capital voted nine to one to strike in a dispute over job cuts, threatening massive disruption as the second reading debate on the controversial Postal Services Bill loomed.

News of the vote came after Business Secretary Peter Mandelson told the BBC's Politics Show on May 31 that he would be pressing on with the legislation. Echoing the phrase famously used by former Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Mandelson said he was 'not for turning' on the plan.

The London dispute is not linked to the Royal Mail sell-off, but a strike would demonstrate postal workers' anger when the government is already under fire from its own MPs. More than 40% of Labour MPs have signed an early day motion opposing privatisation.

Media speculation also mounted this week that potential private sector bidders TNT and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners had put in bids for a 30% stake in Royal Mail, although a TNT spokesman said the process was 'not at the bid stage yet'. …

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