More than 1,000 Royal Mail employees in Lancashire have now received details of their free shares offer following the Government’s decision to privatise the company.
Overall, around 150,000 eligible Royal Mail employees will receive an information guide which sets out the details of the offer.
This includes around 1,130 members in the Preston and Lancaster areas alone. The Free Shares Offer makes 10 per cent of shares in Royal Mail available to eligible employees automatically and for free at the time of flotation. 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.
Royal Mail Group’s chief executive officer Moya Greene said: “Our people are the heart of our business at Royal Mail. By owning 10 per cent 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. The union will now press ahead with balloting its members for strike action in protest at issues linked to privatisation.
Lenny Crook, the CWU’s North Lancs and Cumbria representative, was unimpressed by the Royal Mail shares offer. I think if you asked those 1,000 people locally, the vast majority would say that would rather have job security than shares.”
“Experience has shown that in any case privatisation leads to a poorer service and higher costs.”