Manfred Wiedner and Horst Sayffaerth, President and Vice-President of CESI Council ‘Post and Telecoms’ on the Covid19 crisis

Protecting people’s health and lives is the top priority!

All laws, regulations, directives or instructions must be guided by this. The economic consideration of the postal service and telecom suppliers is also subordinate to this guideline.

In CESI and Eurofedop in particular, where liberal and Christian social trade unions fight as part of a large community for better working conditions in Europe and beyond, it is, of course, difficult for us and our members to get to grips with all of these commands and bans.

Those working for the postal service and in the telecoms sector are finally getting the recognition they deserve. People can now see that, alongside health care workers, supermarket staff, refuse collectors, electricity suppliers, etc., the two professions of postal and telecoms worker also feature among those jobs which make it possible for our society to function “normally”.

And it’s in these times of social distancing in particular that we award special recognition to those trades which make sure people are able to communicate. Here post and telecoms workers are very much in demand, as they ensure that people are able to stay in contact.

As trade unions, we also have the obligation to make good on our supply mandate vis-a-vis governments. But only for as long as the employers do everything within their power to guarantee the safety of their workers.

They must fulfil their obligation to care for each and every one of us.

Sadly, as we reach the third week of the pandemic, we are still not in a position to provide the most rudimentary protective gear in the numbers and quality required across the country.

This is why CESI’s trade council ‘Post & Telecoms’ demands:

  • For all workers in at-risk groups (immunocompromised, those suffering from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.) to be decommissioned and for them to continue to be paid. If necessary this should be due to an order given by member state governments!
  • For sufficient disinfectant, protective gloves, face masks for all and protective screens to be supplied in telecom shops and branches of the post office.
  • The post and telecoms services must be cut back to what is absolutely necessary. No-one can understand why we are still delivering junk mail at a time like this!
  • If a worker (and sadly, there are already many cases) tests positive for the virus, the offices should be closed until all tests are available!
  • It must be guaranteed that the minimum distance can be kept to, whatever duties are being carried out. If necessary, this can be done by reorganising the way things are done.
  • And the CESI Trade Council demands that this extraordinary act of service to the community must finally also be recognised financially for all those who have to work on the ‘FRONT’ on a daily basis.

Sadly, this catastrophe will be with us for many months to come. Returning to normality is utterly inconceivable at present.

Protect yourselves! Insist upon protective gear! This is about your health and that of those you love.

Stay healthy everyone! We trade unions will work tirelessly to put the required amount of pressure on governments, employers and, if necessary, the media, so as to guarantee you the greatest possible level of safety.

Trade Council ‘Post and Telecoms’ (P&T)