Royal Mail postmen could be given shares in the firm under new privatisation plans

Part of the national postal service could be owned by a John Lewis-style trust, where postmen would be treated as ‘partners’, owning shares and receiving annual dividends, the Telegraph has reported.

Two weeks ago, it emerged the coalition government was planning to sell off all or part of Royal Mail, at the same time giving employees a stake in the organisation so they could share in its success.

One option was to float the entire company on the London Stock Exchange in the biggest float of a state-owned business for more than two decades.

Last night, postal affairs minister Ed Davey released more details about how the planned privatisation – which is likely to be opposed by unions – might work.

Under one plan, shares would be held back for postmen from any flotation or sale to a private investor. This could give postal workers influence over decision-making at the business, the Telegraph said.

At John Lewis, a portion of the profits is divided up equally among the staff or ‘partners’. Regardless of how senior or junior they are, staff receive the same percentage of their own salaries, usually between 10% and 20%.

Davey said: “Employee share ownership can be critical in turning around a company’s fortunes. With great British companies and organisations like John Lewis already involved, it shows how powerful it can be.”

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