Political choices required to safeguard high quality and decent labour conditions in postal market

The Hague, 10 July 2017 – The analysis of Minister Kamp demonstrates once again that the postal market has changed fundamentally over the past years and that choices about the future must be made shortly. PostNL shares the view that regulation supporting competition does not correspond with the reality of a declining market. This is outdated and results in competition at the expense of labour conditions. One must focus on the reliability and affordability of the postal service and on decent labour conditions.

Dutch mail volumes declined with almost 50 percent since 2005. This decline is expected to continue. It is expected that by 2025 around 2 billion mail items will be sent. Mail will remain relevant for groups such as businesses and consumers. This requires a revision of the regulation of the postal market in the short term. 

Minister Kamp rightly points out that more network competition does not create additional value. One may question whether the current starting point of supervision directed at the promotion of competition, is still justified. PostNL has underlined regularly that regulation should not artificially further competition: regulation should reflect the reality of the shrinking mail market. 

Herna Verhagen, ceo PostNL: “In a market that declines with 9 percent annually, further emphasising competition will result in deteriorating labour conditions and deterioration of the quality of the postal service. Competition does not comply with the regulation requiring postal operators to employ their workers; they compete at the cost of their workforce. Choices must be made to allow these employees to make a decent living in a declining market. Employees are crucial for the preservation of the quality of the postal service, also in the future.” 

PostNL is of the view that it will not be necessary to adjust the service level and number of delivery days of the USO in the short term, provided that the regulation of the bulk market, including significant market power, will be amended. Future changes of the USO will – in most instances – depend on the decision making in Europe and are thus not a solution in the near future. The fact that Minister Kamp recognises the quality, accessibility and affordability of the current USO, sees PostNL as a compliment for all its people. This makes us proud.