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Bpost files strike notice for Thursday

08:27 06/02/2024

Unions representing workers for Belgian postal company bpost have filed a strike notice for this Thursday, 8 February, saying there is too much uncertainty in the wake of bpost losing a valuable government contract.

Workers are demanding a plan for the future of the postal company and its staff, said ACOD union delegate Geert Cools.

Unions want to send "a strong signal", but are not necessarily calling for a total work stoppage.

Any strikers will nevertheless be covered by the notice, and Cools reports determination on both the French- and Dutch-speaking side of the business, meaning disruptions to mail delivery cannot be ruled out.

In December, the federal government decided not to award any new contracts for newspaper distribution, meaning the final contract for bpost expired at the end of last year.

It will remain in force for a transitional period of six months, but after that, it will be up to the publishers to decide with whom they will do business for distribution.

“We are asking the government to implement the support mechanism for sparsely populated areas and we are demanding a plan for the future,” Cools said.

While the Belgian government will be giving subsidies for newspaper distribution in sparsely populated areas, it had previously supported them more fully.

As for the contract bpost lost out on, it went instead to competitors PPP and Proximy.

Written by Helen Lyons