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Post office management and unions reach agreement

Management and the trade unions at the Belgian post office bpost have reached an agreement that will bring to an end the recent wave of industrial action. The measures agreed will see the creation of 1,000 new jobs, (some of which have already been created as temporary posts to deal with the Christmas and New Year rush).

In addition to this postal workers will receive a full 13th month and extra days annual leave in an effort to make working for the post office attractive proposition to those looking for a new job.  

Bpost’s CEO Koen Van Gerven told VRT News that “We intend to do this by offering postal workers a full 13th month and extra days annual leave. We also intend to offer staff clarity with regard to the evolution of their pay and benefits package, something that was not the case previously”.

Mr Van Gerven is convinced that the measure will make a job as a postal worker considerably more attractive.

“It will enable us to attract young people and to keep the people that are already with us”.

Speaking about the 1,000 new jobs, Mr Gerven said “A large proportion of these had already been created to deal with the end of year rush. Currently 420,000 parcels a day are being sent via bpost”.  

Although analysts had estimated that the agreement would cost bpost between 70 and 75 million euro/annum Mr Van Gerven says the price tag will be 20 million euro. He adds that this is a good investment as it will guarantee good industrial relations for the foreseeable future.  

There were four day of industrial action at bpost last month. The postal workers protested against the high pressure of work at the post office and the lack of clarity about the future of the company.  

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