Royal Mail boss faces building pressure after flawed evidence claims

After being accused of giving inaccurate evidence during a meeting with the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee last Wednesday, Simon Thompson, chief executive of Royal Mail parent International Distributions Services PLC, (LSE:IDS), will be back in front MPs to answer questions.

Royal Mail workers contested Thompson’s claims, claiming he wasn’t “aware” of technology that tracks workers’ speed, parcels weren’t prioritised over letter and staff were paid standard sick pay. This was after the meeting on January 17.

Darren Jones, chair of the Committee, wrote to Thompson: “Following this session I received a significant amount […]correspondence from Royal Mail employees challenging your statements.

“The committee has decided to recall you in order to hear your oral evidence as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for Royal Mail said that they were happy to clarify any points the committee might be confused about.

Thompson met MPs following a long-running dispute about pay and conditions that had seen 115,000 Royal Mail workers strike over 18 days in August and December.

Although the Communication Workers Union has not yet confirmed whether additional strikes will occur, they suggested that “significant steps” have been taken towards a settlement, following a Royal Mail offer.

Jones stated that Keith Williams, Royal Mail chairman, had been invited to the next meeting. He also suggested that the committee would consider any incorrect information “very seriously”.

Thompson was also questioned by MPs regarding board bonuses and suggestions that he made a mistake when he gave PS400mln to shareholders via special dividend in 2021.

CWU representatives were also present at the meeting and argued that Royal Mail’s dispute was not an issue of affordability, given dividend payouts as well as higher salaries for senior staff.