In a debate with a representative from the European Commission’s Directorate-General ‘Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs’ (DG GROW) on a forthcoming evaluation, and a possible subsequent revision, of the ‘EU directive 97/67/EC on common rules for the development of the internal market of Community postal services and the improvement of quality of service’ (Postal services directive), the members of the trade council criticised the role of the directive in having contributed to the liberalisation of the sector, with subsequent deteriorations in the quality of delivery service and worsened working conditions for employees in the sector.
The trade council members emphasised in particular the key role of robust and extensive universal service obligations (USOs) for a continued maintenance of a high quality of postal delivery services.
More specifically, reflecting on their own trade unionist experiences of the consequences of market liberalisation, and referring moreover to a study on ‘Main developments in the postal sector between 2013 and 2016‘, authored by WIK-Consult and published earlier this year by the European Commission, the trade council members also criticised increasing subcontracted employment practices and spreading precarious work in the sector – something that needs to be brought up in the evaluation of the postal services directive.
It was agreed to continue to push for strong USOs and decent employment in the sector, potentially including together with UNI Europa, CESI’s partner on the employee side in the European postal services sectoral social dialogue committee.
The trade council also saw a welcome address by its former and now honorary President Willi Russ from CESI’s German member organisation dbb/DPVKOM as well as the adoption of topical resolutions on the role of financial services in postal enterprises, which advocates full access to traditional financial services provided by postal companies, and on the recently adopted EU Telecom Package, which calls for (1) a resumption of negotiations to set up a European body responsible for evaluating the consequences of regulation on jobs, social bodies, job quality, motivation and pay systems, (2) provisions for 5G network licences to prevent a competitive licensing war, (3) non-interference in pricing systems of telecommunications companies which leads to more competition in the sector; and (4) the integration of the new EU general data protection regulation in the package. Both resolutions will be made available soon in the resources section.
A video clip of the meeting is available on CESI’s Youtube channel. The next meeting of the trade council will take place in June 2019.
Picture: CESI Trade Council ‘Post & Telecoms’ © CESI 2018