Post Office ‘transformation plan’ slammed by Left Bloc and Communists
Portugal’s Post Office directors plan to cut 800 staff over the next three years as the management of the privatised business grapple with the realities of business in a shrinking market for postal deliveries.
The Left Bloc, which opposed the sell-off of the nation’s postal service, wants to halt the lay-offs and to see the business taken back into public hands.
CTT’s Operational Transformation Plan aims to reduce its workforce of 6,700 employees by 800, with 140 already taking pay-offs from a 2017 target of 200 reductions.
“This whole plan aims to continue a policy that has been disastrous for the company,” said the Left Bloc MP, José Soeiro, adding that CTT, when owned by the State, “had the highest levels of quality of service provision and the postal service had a territorial coverage far superior to the one that its has today.”
The socialist government wants “to listen to CTT’s management” but the Left Bloc is adamant that the business needs rescuing – and that renationalisation is the only way forward.
“The privatization of CTT was a tragedy from an economic and political point of view. This new restructuring, as it has been presented, implies a further reduction of branches and of 800 staff, at a time when the business no longer complies with the quality criteria set for the postal service and when it has been fined by Anacom for non-compliance. Secondly, the number of employees are below the minimum set forth in the post-privatisation concession contract,” said José Soeiro.
The Left Bloc says the restructuring plan makes it even harder for CTT to fulfill its postal delivery obligations, to which it is bound.
Directors have proposed their salaries are cut by 15%, with Francisco Lacerda, CTT’s president, taking a 25% reduction. Soeiro criticised these self-imposed cuts as CTT directors will still be on around €27,000-a-month, “which is no great sacrifice.”
The directors have spotted that the business they are charged with running is in dire straits with profitability falling sharply. They propose, in addition to the staff cuts, to close Post Offices in areas of low population density while somehow still “ensuring proximity with citizens, quality of services and regulatory obligations.”
The Operational Transformation Plan was sent to the Securities Market Commission (CMVM) today, claiming the company has been adapting by diversifying its business but admits it is, “lagging behind the sector.”
To improve profitability, the company has decided to speed up planned cost-cutting measures that already are being actioned, such as the redundancy programme.
The Communist Party MP, Bruno Dias also wants to Post Office renationalised, pointing to the current “degradation of service quality, the destruction of jobs, the continuation of the policy of closing services and the brutal attack on workers’ rights.”
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