British government preparing to privatize Royal Mail and give staff shares

The British government will lay out plans to privatize the Royal Mail in a 3 billion pounds ($4.5 billion) share offering that will see tens of thousands of workers get a stake in the company.

Business minister Michael Fallon told the BBC on Wednesday that the staff will receive 10 percent of the new company — giving them a "real stake in the business." The Communications Workers Union is opposed to the privatization amid fears that it will lead to job losses and lower wage increases. There are worries that it may also bring an end to six-day-a-week mail delivery

Fallon says the privatization would give the Royal Mail greater freedom to compete with others — in part because it would gain the right to borrow without consulting the government.