The dispute between the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Royal Mail has entered a bizarre parallel universe. The company has threatened that it might have to make itself bust if the CWU’s industrial action doesn’t stop, and a deal with the union isn’t reached. Predictably, people have slammed the move as “disgraceful” and “appalling”, and said that it’s now time the government renationalises Royal Mail.
Royal Mail: utterly desperate move against the CWU
The Canary has extensively covered the ongoing dispute between the CWU workers and Royal Mail bosses. The company has already acted pretty badly – like its boss Simon Thompson telling a load of untruths while giving evidence to a parliamentary committee. However, Royal Mail’s latest move takes the biscuit.
The Guardian reported that bosses have threatened to declare the company insolvent. It noted that:
Royal Mail is on course to make operating losses of £350m-£400m this year, its parent – the recently renamed International Distributions Systems (IDS) – has previously said.
Royal Mail management have threatened to put the company in administration, yet this is a business which posted record profits and paid £567 million in dividends and share buybacks in the last financial year.
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Dominic Raab clearly answered a different question to the one I asked. pic.twitter.com/sNAGJ9H6T7
— Cat Smith MP (@CatSmithMP) March 29, 2023
Yet still, Royal Mail bosses are now threatening the nuclear option. As the Guardian noted:
It is thought the boards of Royal Mail and IDS still regard a negotiated settlement as the preferred way out of crisis, but a special administration under the Postal Act has been explored. This would mean declaring the business insolvent and unable to pay its dues, raising the possibility of more job losses among its 140,000 employees. Approval would be needed from the government.
So, the CWU has responded – and it and its general secretary Dave Ward are furious.
‘Appalling’? Maybe it’s time to renationalise the postal service
The position that we’ve reached on their finances is down to the company and the way that they’ve dealt with this dispute right from the start
For example, as the Canary previously reported that Royal Mail bosses have rolled out redundancies during the course of the dispute, taken legal action to try to stop strikes, and tabled derisory pay offers.
Meanwhile, people reacted angrily to the news on social media.
Labour MP Kate Osborne branded Royal Mail’s actions “appalling” and “disgraceful”:
Solidarity @CWUnews ✊
The continued gross mismanagement of @RoyalMail is appalling and the tactics they have used throughout this dispute are disgraceful.
CWU members must not be punished for Royal Mails failures. https://t.co/2A1LDOpmdh
— Kate Osborne MP (@KateOsborneMP) March 29, 2023
Journalist Mary O’Hara pointed out that this is what happens when governments’ privatise key industries:
Yeah. Privatizing works….. 🤷🏻🤷🏻Royal Mail bosses threaten to declare insolvency as pay talks near collapse | Royal Mail | The Guardian https://t.co/8i14ioncL2
— Mary O'Hara (@maryohara1) March 27, 2023
Meanwhile, other people were saying it was time for the government to renationalise the Royal Mail (an unlikely scenario):
Maybe, and forgive me if this is a crazy idea, it should be nationalised and run by the state on behalf of the public? https://t.co/5swHUluB2k
— Damien Gayle (@damiengayle) March 29, 2023
A shower of self-serving shits
Ward summed up by saying:
the greatest risk of all is that we actually let them destroy this industry and destroy these jobs.
And went on:
at the moment it’s important that that pressure goes back onto Royal Mail
General Secretary Dave Ward, responds to reports surfacing in the media that Royal Mail are going into administration. We stick together. pic.twitter.com/Pzyn4SbE7C
— The CWU (@CWUnews) March 29, 2023
It beggars belief that the bosses at Royal Mail would literally threaten to let the company go bust just so they didn’t have to pay workers fairly. However, that is exactly where the dispute with the CWU is at.
This shows, in part, just how effective the union’s campaign has been: bosses, like the cornered rats they are, are so entrenched in their position that they’d prefer to see the company collapse than give in to workers.
Moreover, though, and it shows that those at the top of Royal Mail have no idea how to run a business – nor how to manage a workforce.
Crucially, it also shows what a shower of self-serving shits these odious capitalists really are.
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