BUSINESS Secretary Cable announced the government sell-off of Royal Mail through a flotation on the London Stock Exchange yesterday.
Cable told parliament the pre-Christmas sale is likely to raise £2bn-£3bn.
He made clear any deal he reaches with the CWU to maintain a number of jobs and the terms and conditions of employment of postal workers would only last for three years.
He called on postal workers to ‘take a stake in the business’ and spoke of ‘a three-year agreement’ during which ‘the CWU will continue to be their recognised representative’.
‘Now the time has come for the government to step back from Royal Mail,’ Cable said.
CWU general secretary, Billy Hayes, commented: ‘The public consistently oppose the sale and recently 96% of workers voted against.’
CWU Deputy General Secretary Dave Ward said: ‘If you bring in private owners to Royal Mail they will change the priorities of the company.’
Unite national officer Ian Tonks said: ‘This move is bad for business and bad for customers and could lead to rising prices and an end to the universal postal service which so many communities rely on.
‘The move also spells a future of uncertainty for hardworking staff who have made Royal Mail the success it is today.
‘It is no coincidence that the company is putting forward proposals to cut pensions ahead of the sell-off.
‘Any cuts to the pension scheme to fatten the company up for privatisation will not be tolerated by Unite or our members.’