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Post workers angry about lost bonus

Postal workers will be up to £1,400 out of pocket because they will not receive an expected bonus, leaving many of them wanting to take action, their union has said.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said staff were being briefed about the so-called ColleagueShare scheme, which was introduced by former chairman Allan Leighton to pay a bonus based on the value of the company.

An internal memo issued by Royal Mail said the "difficult outlook" for the business meant it was likely that workers would only receive the remainder of the cash bonus element of the scheme.

The CWU said the move would leave postal workers up to £1,400 out of pocket and claimed that Royal Mail paid out ColleagueShare to staff who have left the company in the last six weeks.

The scheme has paid out up to £1,600 to postal workers so far and the union said it was due to pay out a further £1,400 this year, up to a limit of £5,300 over the five-year life of the scheme.

Deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: "Royal Mail has destroyed any remaining trust that postal workers have for the company. Their argument that ColleagueShare has no value suits the company's new business plan and also fits with the agenda of the Conservative-led Government and plans to privatise Royal Mail.

"It would appear that Royal Mail is manipulating the numbers to avoid paying staff earned bonuses and to help the Government to privatise the company at a rock-bottom price. This is bad news for the taxpayer, bad news for postal services, and bad news for Royal Mail workers.

"We acknowledge Royal Mail has problems with declining mail volumes and revenue but the company needs to honour its commitments to workers and be open and transparent about its financial problems."

The National Federation of SubPostmasters accused Royal Mail bosses of "reneging" on long-standing promises to reward staff for their contribution to the company's performance targets being met.

The federation also voiced fears that the decision could show that plans were under way for a quick "fire sale" of Royal Mail to a foreign buyer at a knock-down cost.

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