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Some of PostNL’s couriers are on a strike in the Netherlands

There’s still trouble in the Dutch parcel industry. Independent mail carriers who work on behalf of PostNL don’t like how the postal company treats them. PostNL now has offered them a chance to work for them as an employee, but not everyone is happy with this. Some couriers have gone on a strike, which causes 20% of all packages not to arrive at customer’s homes in time.

PostNL published the news on their own website, thereby warning consumers that some of them won’t get their packages in time. “At several of our branches, some independent mail carriers have gone on a strike. We expect 80% of all packages to be delivered like you are used to. We will also be able to deliver packages that need to be sent to private boxes and registered mail”, the company explains.

PostNL wants to ends the strike as soon as possible
“For packages we can’t deliver, we expect a delay of one or more days. But we will do everything we can to deliver these as quickly as possible as well. Staff from our headquarters will help out and we also delivery in the evening and on weekends. Obviously, we are talking with the protesters in order to end this strike as soon as is possible.”

Last month, the problems between PostNL and the independent mail carriers led to Subco Partners, the association of these carriers, claiming they are planning to start their own parcel company that can compete with PostNL.

It’s still unclear if that is really going to happen, but it’s for sure Subco Partners isn’t happy with how PostNL treats the independent mail carriers. They get treated as if they are freelancers, although the carriers mostly have PostNL as their only contractor.

Mail carriers can work as permanent employees
After many discussions, PostNL offered the mail carriers two options: they can either continue being freelancers but with better working conditions (like 10% higher hourly rates) or they can work as permanent employees. This change of decision would cost PostNL between 15 and 20 million euros.

Not all mail carriers however agreed with the proposal. The almost 500 freelancers who are united in Suboc Partners say PostNL don’t take into account the debts the freelancers have built up due to low rates and artificial contract arrangements. “By choosing for employment these problems won’t be solved”, Maurice Jacobs from Subco Partners, says.