Liberalisation of postal sector postponed

6th December 2007, Comments 0 comments

The further liberalisation of the postal market will not take place in the Netherlands on 1 January 2008 as planned.

6 December 2007

THE HAGUE – The further liberalisation of the postal market will not take place in the Netherlands on 1 January 2008 as planned. State secretary for economic affairs Frank Heemskerk said in Parliament on Thursday that there is still too much ambiguity for the market to be further opened up at this point.

He expects there will be enough clarity in the first half of next year to allow a decision on when this can be put into effect. Heemskerk had the support of a majority in Parliament for this view.

Heemskerk and Parliament want more clarity particularly on the situation in Germany. Employers and unions there recently reached agreement on a minimum wage for postal delivery personnel.

Dutch postal company TNT Post says that will create a new situation in Germany and competition throughout Europe will not be on equal terms. Heemskerk says he wants to study the changes further.

It is also unclear how the employment conditions in the Netherlands will develop. The unions want postal workers to be paid on an hourly basis under a normal employment contract.

As far as the government is concerned, delivering post does not need to be a full-fledged job and could be welcome part-time employment for students, pensioners and stay at home mothers.

The government does think that in practice postal workers should be able to receive minimum wage. Consultation on this between unions and postal companies is deadlocked however. It is hoped that a mediator will be able to restart the negotiations.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news