This is Royal Mail’s last chance, says posties’ trade union boss DAVE WARD

  • Privatisation of Royal Mail is one of the biggest scandals of recent times 
  • The obvious and right answer is to renationalise Royal Mail 
  • But a Tory or a Labour government are unwilling to contemplate this 

Perhaps it seems highly unusual for a trade union leader like me to write a column for the Daily Mail City pages, but these are unusual times.

I lead the Communication Workers Union which represents 110,000 posties.

We are fighting to save one of the most iconic companies in the UK.

Let me get straight to the point: the privatisation of Royal Mail is one of the biggest scandals of recent times.

Hundreds of millions of pounds a year that once went back to the Treasury now go to the pockets of mainly rich and often offshore shareholders.

The service, once the best in the world, is on its knees.

The Royal Mail Board has overseen the destruction of the service and an all-out attack on its own workforce. Every single reader has felt the impact.

The Board’s actions have ripened Royal Mail for a takeover and now with a bid from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, we are on the brink of one.

The obvious and right answer is to renationalise Royal Mail. But a Tory government and even an incoming Labour administration are unwilling to contemplate this.

Therefore, the CWU has developed a plan to restore the universal service obligation to deliver postal services to all addresses for the same price, to the same standard.

Our plan will build back trust from the public and businesses of the UK and win over tens of thousands of postal workers who have been demoralised by the company’s leadership by giving them a major stake in their businesses.

We are calling for a new ownership and governance model for Royal Mail.

We want workers and customers to have a serious influence and a genuine say in the direction of the company. We will campaign for this politically, industrially and in our communities.

I often hear that we need to see more patriotism from our politicians.

This isn’t Nigel Farage parachuting himself into a community he has never been to before, or Rishi Sunak flying planes to Rwanda when he can’t even oversee a train network that runs on time in the UK.

Patriotism is taking the opportunity to create an alliance of the public, businesses and postal workers so a key part of the nation’s infrastructure can be saved and rebuilt.

Royal Mail has the biggest fleet in the UK. It has workers in every single community. Imagine what great business leaders of the past would have done with that competitive advantage.

There are claims the union is holding back modernisation, but nothing could be further from the truth.

We are the ones calling for growth, demanding investment and ready for innovation.

It is looking increasingly likely that Daniel Kretinsky will own Royal Mail in its entirety by the end of the year. He says he wants to own the company for the rest of his life.

In that case, we need commitments for our members and customers that match that level of ambition.

In the coming weeks we have a one-off chance to put this issue at the heart of the election debate. We will be pushing for that every day and we ask you as readers to do the same.

There’s nothing more British than the Royal Mail. And this may well be our last chance to save it.