For Sale: from the LRB blog


Something that hasn’t been mentioned much in the post-privatisation analysis is the amount of money the Royal Mail stands to make out of its immense property holdings. One building alone in the company’s portfolio of disused offices in London – the mail centre in Nine Elms Lane – has been valued at half a billion pounds. That’s one-sixth of what the government sold the whole company for.

The office was closed in 2012, more than a year before the sell-off. And it’s not the only one. Dozens of delivery offices up and down the country, including mine, were closed in the run up to privatisation. Several of them remain unsold.

Could the offices have been kept empty on purpose? Royal Mail bosses now stand to make a lot of money out of the company they once used merely to manage.

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2 thoughts on “For Sale: from the LRB blog

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  1. I’ve really enjoyed your posts (yes, I’m another bloody lefty communist *wink*).

    I left the NHS last January, in order to join Royal Mail, and work a stress-free job, with the opportunity to get my head straight, after some harrowing events during my hospital shifts. How wrong I was in assuming this would be possible.

    I am on a 20-hour contract (spread over 5 days, because they want you to be pushed to do overtime every day, rather than have the freedom to only work said hours over 3 days, for example, if you feel the need/have other commitments. Despite this, I work between 30 and 40 hours or week, and have done since I joined.

    When I have annual leave, they only pay me the 20-hour contract, not full-time pay. Of course it’s obvious, but now I know why they won’t increase my hours. It doesn’t take a genius to work out I’ve been screwed out of many hundreds of pounds during these weeks off alone. What affect has that had? I’m irritable, frustrated, and frequently lose my temper, all whil doing a job which should be stress-free. I’m not happy about being screwed over by a company who apparently care about us. Who knew!?

    You’re right about the ‘intense workout’ of the round, also. This week, I started a new round, and walked 12.5 miles… Half a marathon, whilst tackling Cornish hills, steps up to houses, carrying bags, and pushing those ‘lightweight’ 64-tonne trolleys!

    It says a lot that, right now, I’d prefer going back to working on a ward in a failing NHS hospital (thanks, b*stard Tories) where, regularly just before I left, there would only be 2 members of staff, including myself, to look after 18 patients!

    In case you were wondering, yes, I’m already looking for new employment.

    1. Hi Christian, thanks for your comment. It’s been awhile since I last posted to this site as I got bored of the sound of my own moaning. It’s not the job it used to be. Good luck finding another one, but I suspect all paid labour is a variation on the same these days. Pretty well all the new employees I work with are on part-time and temporary contracts. What a world hey? The class divide is greater than it has ever been. And we grew up imagining that the world was getting better. I might start adding to these posts again.

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