SP and European Postal Workers: Stop the liberalisation of the postal market

4 March 2010

SP and European Postal Workers: Stop the liberalisation of the postal market

In the whole of Europe, postal workers are sick to the back teeth of the liberalisation of the postal market. That’s why, from 12th to 15th April, there will be a European Action Week to demand a moratorium on the process. Today, the SP organised a meeting with postal workers from throughout Europe where they were assured of the full backing of the party. SP European Parliamentary group leader Dennis de Jong explains : ‘The postal workers are completely correct to take this action : they are having to do ever more work under ever deteriorating conditions of employment. In addition post offices are being closed down everywhere and delivery frequencies are decreasing. It’s not clear, either, what the consequences of all this will be for those living in thinly populated areas. Brussels has in the past sold privatisation with the assertion that it would bring lower prices and improved service, but this turns out not to be the case. Liberalisation should therefore now simply stop.’’

Dennis de JongThe Netherlands is in the forefront in Europe of the liberalisation of the postal market. What that means for workers was recounted to colleagues from other parts of Europe by ‘Rob van der Post’ from the Action Committee ‘Save the Postal Worker’ : ´We were made redundant by (The Netherlands' former national carrier) TNT and then rehired by a subsidiary under miserable working conditions. Competition should be about quality, not conditions of employment!´

Dennis de Jong is confident that the postal workers’ actions will have an effect. ´The European Parliament has always, when approving liberalisation, taken a stand in favour of good social standards and service to the public. It’s obvious that these standards have not been met. What we need now therefore is a moratorium. This would give us a chance to consider how the future of the post, the postal worker and post offices in Europe can be regulated in a way which is as good as possible for everyone concerned.’ What the SP and the postal workers want to see, whatever else happens, is a proper agreement for the sector, covering pay and conditions, so that competition does not focus on these. Beyond that, public authorities must ensure high standards of service, and of frequency and quality of delivery.’

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