Royal Mail Takeover: Labour’s Stance Amidst Chuka Umunna’s Lobbying

Royal Mail Takeover Labour's Stance Amidst Chuka Umunna's Lobbying
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London (Parliament News) – Chuka Umunna, a former shadow business secretary and current JP Morgan banker, lobbies Labour on behalf of Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky for the acquisition of Royal Mail, sparking controversy and union backlash.

Who is Behind the Push for Royal Mail Acquisition?

The ex-shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna is lobbying Labour on behalf of a Czech billionaire in a proposal to push through his appropriation of Royal Mail. Mr Umunna, who performed in the shadow Cabinet under Ed Miliband and is now a senior banker at JP Morgan, is reporting to Daniel Kretinsky on his swoop for the 500-year-old postal service.

According to The Telegraph, the ex-politician, who left Labour in 2019, is believed to have played a position in brokering relationships between the party and Mr Kretinsky. His involvement flashed a furious backlash from the union expressing postal workers, which aimed at “corporate sleaze”.

Why is Union Backlash Directed at Chuka Umunna?

A spokesman for the Communications Workers Unions (CWU) stated: “That a failed politician turned investment banker like Chuka Umunna is in standing to influence decisions about Britain’s vital institutions is bad for the country as a whole.

“The question of Britain’s crumbling infrastructure will be a burning topic in this year’s general election, and none have been more mismanaged in recent years than Royal Mail. Labour should be steadfast in rejecting such corporate sleaze and support a stable model for Royal Mail that works for communities and the employees that serve them.”

JP Morgan and Labour refused to comment. Mr Umunna was contacted for comment.

Earlier this month it emerged that Royal Mail had rebuffed a £3.1bn takeover bid from Mr Kretinsky, anointed the “Czech sphinx”, sparking worries among some politicians that a crucial British asset could fall into the hands of a foreign customer.

What Alternatives Does CWU Propose for Royal Mail?

The swoop is also meeting opposition from the CWU, which is instead contacting for a “new ownership and governance model” for Royal Mail. Mr Kretinsky’s EP Group, which is anticipated to make a fresh offer ahead of a deadline of May 15 set under City takeover laws, has held discussions with union bosses in a bid to ease workers’ concerns.

One potential option being investigated is an equity compensation scheme for employees, though sources cautioned that talks were at an early stage and no firm timetable had been made. 

Is Labour Open to Royal Mail Takeover Amidst Union Discontent?

Labour, which voiced support for the compensation proposals, is thought to be open to a takeover of Royal Mail as it causes for greater investment in the postal service’s creaking network.

The system risks igniting tensions with the CWU, which has called for Royal Mail to be brought back into ownership. However, the union revealed that “the current political climate causes delivering this very difficult”.

Labour officials held conferences with union bosses on Friday to examine the potential takeover.

Mr Umunna, who was one of the founding partners of the short-lived Change UK party following his resignation from Labour, is now working director and head of ESG across Europe, the Middle East and Africa at JP Morgan.

Federica Calabrò

Federica Calabrò is a journalist at Parliament News, She is covering Business and General World News. She is a native of Naples, commenced her career as a teller at Poste Italiane before following her passion for dance. Graduating in classical dance, she showcased her talents with two entertainment companies, enchanting audiences throughout Italy. Presently, Federica serves as the general secretary at the Allianz Bank Financial Advisors financial promotion center in Naples. In this capacity, she manages office forms, provides document assistance for Financial Advisors, oversees paperwork for the back office, and ensures smooth customer reception and assistance at the front office. Outside her professional obligations, Federica indulges in her passion for writing in her leisure time.