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“We are the worst paid professional group in Poland.” Warning strike at the Post Office

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Some Poczta Polska employees are on strike across Poland. – We expect real talks on salary increases with the employer – said Robert Czyż, chairman of the trade union Defending the Rights of Poczta Polska SA Employees, in an interview with tvn24.pl

A warning strike of Poczta Polska employees was announced throughout Poland for 8-10 a.m. According to information provided to tvn24.pl by Robert Czyż, chairman of the trade union Defense of the Rights of Poczta Polska SA Employees, the scale of the protests is “very large”.

– Many offices are standing, we have confirmed information from all over Poland. Gorzów, Poznań, the whole obwarzanek of Warsaw. Some offices are either completely closed or only function symbolically, with one window – said a union representative in an interview with tvn24.pl.

– We expect real talks on salary increases with the employer – said Robert Czyż. – 80 percent of us, that is 50,000 employees, earn PLN 4,023 gross per month. We are the worst paid professional group in Poland and the worst paid postal workers in Europe, he said.

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We also asked Poczta Polska to comment on the situation. Daniel Witowski, the institution's spokesman, confirmed that “there is a picket of a dozen or so trade union activists in front of the Warsaw 1 Labor Office.”

– Our information shows that the vast majority of post offices in the country, despite the well-publicized and announced strike, provide services and serve customers in a standard manner. Therefore, it is absolutely impossible to talk about the mass action of trade unionists – the spokesman for Poczta Polska told us.

Reduction of jobs in a state giant

President Sebastian Mikosz said earlier that he proposed job cuts and salary increases to Poczta Polska trade unionists, which was rejected out of hand. – If today I met the unions' expectation of a gross increase of PLN 1,000, it would cost the company PLN 1 billion 200 million per year. As president, I believe that this postulate is not shocking in today's world inflation and higher costs of living. Unfortunately, today the company's situation does not allow for such increases – explained the head of the Post Office.

He added that “earnings in the company are not something the company can boast about.” – Although postal workers can count on a 13th salary, internship allowances – up to 20 percent, bonuses and subsidies for recreation, however base salary is not high. This is due to the enormous increase in employment. – he explained and added that he agrees with trade unionists when they talk about flattening salaries at the Post Office due to the rapidly rising minimum wage.

– It is true that operational employees can earn as much as their superiors – e.g. managers. But getting out of this is a process that will take at least two years. It will be necessary to reduce employment, renegotiate the collective labor agreement and implement a transformation plan, announced President Mikosz.

Critical situation of Poczta Polska

In an interview with PAP, President Mikosz assessed that the Polish Post Office is currently “in a state of clinical death”. – The heart is beating, but the head has stopped working. The heart is people. And the head is about strategic decisions. Over the last 8 years, the company has been practically driven out of business. I have a huge regret about this. Poczta Polska is not only a company owned by the State Treasury, but also a company performing a state-building function, he noted.

He added that the clinical death of Poczta is the fact that the company has only debts. – First of all, we have a debt that can be described as courier debt, that is, we are the seventh player on this fastest-growing and attractive market of logistics services related to e-commerce. And it will be very difficult for us to expand on this market, because it requires making gigantic investments and a complete transformation – from a company focusing almost exclusively on letter logistics, to a courier company – he announced.

The second debt he mentioned is technological debt. – Over the last few years, especially the last eight years, the Post Office has not invested in its own business at all IT systems. We are an open-air IT museum, a company that operates probably on the basis of the oldest available systems. We estimate that currently getting out of technical debt will cost around half a billion zlotys. We need to buy at least 23,000. computers, install completely new servers, new software. We operate on systems that are up to 20 years old, Mikosz said. He added that the company must modernize the window system and the one responsible for logistics management. – I think that Post Office employees have justified grievances and regret that they work with antediluvian equipment, which is why they are often embarrassed in front of customers. In addition, we have, for example, almost 250 different IT systems, although we should have significantly fewer of them. On the other hand – over the last two or three years, my predecessors spent hundreds of millions of zlotys on creating their own software, of which there is no trace – noted Mikosz.

– And at the end there is intellectual debt. It is particularly painful for me because it involves the need to make Postmen aware that changes in our company are inevitable if the Post Office is to survive. It looks a bit as if no one noticed that the market is running away from us, digital correspondence solutions will dominate private and official communication in the coming years, replacing traditional letters – explained the president of Poczta Polska.

The new president of Poczta Polska

Sebastian Mikosz was appointed president of Poczta Polska at the end of March 2024. So far, he has been, among others, president PLL LOT and deputy head of IATA.

Poczta Polska is a State Treasury company, the largest postal operator on the domestic market. It employs over 66,000. employees, and its network covers 7.6 thousand. branches, branches and postal agencies throughout Poland.

Main photo source: Karolis Kavolelis/Shutterstock

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