The government’s plan to take the Royal Mail into private ownership is expected to be revealed this week, with critics warning the process could cause “complete chaos” for the UK’s postal service.
Business minister Michael Fallon is set to tell MPs how the state-owned delivery service would be listed on the London Stock Exchange in an initial valuation (IPO) of up to £3bn in an announcement that could come on Wednesday, according to Sky News.
The government has courted controversy with its plans to sell Royal Mail. Business Secretary Vince Cable said that the organisation had “no alternative” but to seek private investment.
Postal workers have rallied against the move. Despite potentially being in line for £1,500 each, 96% of postal workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) voted against privatisation in June.
Labour’s postal services spokesman Ian Murray warned that privatising the Royal Mail would lead to a “cherry picking” of regional services. “The government is rushing this through in a fire sale to meet the demands of the Treasury,” he told the Huffington Post UK.
“Their handling [of the sale] has been pretty dreadful. They’re rushing it through as quickly as possible because the money want it for the next budget.”
“The minister responsible [Michael Fallon] has even threatened workers that if they don’t back a sale, they’ll find a foreign owner, which I think is pretty distasteful.”