Today, Royal Mail Group have announced that they have managed to turn an overall profit of £758 million in the past business year.
In response to this news, the reaction of many publications seems to echo what management are putting across—that this is a gloomy result, and something that should usher in a time for ‘tightening belts’ in Royal Mail.
Beyond the spin, the truth is that this result is a haul for the bosses. It’s a big leap from the £702 million reported the year before—a rise of £56 million in profit—and has been achieved as many other companies face serious economic instability and struggle to keep afloat.
Don’t just take my word for it. In anticipation of the result, an analyst at the FTSE 100 banking company Hargreaves Lansdown called an accurate prediction of Royal Mail’s profits ‘impressive’. However, the analyst went on to say that if Royal Mail really want to maximise their profits, the ‘tricky position’ is over the company’s ‘massive network of employees’.
For the bankers, the press, and the managers, I want to clarify something. Without that body of workers, stretched to the bone and going far beyond what was expected of them throughout over two years of a global pandemic, there would be no Royal Mail profit today.
In delivery, engineering, processing, distribution, and cleaning, every Royal Mail employee stepped up to the plate with a sense of duty. They were the people knocking the doors to check in on the vulnerable and elderly, they were the people delivering care packages and vital medical goods, they were the people risking their lives every day—not the bosses or the shareholders.
Every single penny Royal Mail has made during this period has been from the bravery and graft of CWU members. Yet now, as inflation shoots up and bills skyrocket, management are looking the other way.
This union will not accept that. It’s nothing short of an insult that management are trying to shaft their workforce like this, pleading poverty while their profits jump up. The anger is real in every Royal Mail workplace across the country, and you can see this in the significant grassroots movement already being mobilised by CWU members.
Our members know their worth and their value in society far more than the bosses seem to. This is why are they are demanding a no-strings pay rise—to keep up with the soaring rate of inflation, but also as a reward for their brilliant service to society during the biggest national crisis since World War Two.
Right now, the numbers are not adding up for too many people. Far too much sacrifice is being expected of ordinary people by those who are unwilling to sacrifice anything at all. The government, the employers, and the corporations are laughing at us—they think we’re daft and that we’ll let them do anything they want.
We aren’t going to let them get away with it. Every worker in this country deserves greater dignity and security in their lives, not even more hardship and uncertainty. On our front, CWU members are standing up and putting up a fight for proper living standards and against the corporate greed that threatens to plunge our country into even more misery. I hope that as they ballot for taking industrial action, they can count on the public’s active support and solidarity.