Jobs for the boys

The government’s difficulties with plans to reform redundancy law – it was forced to scrap them – resulted in the setting up of a brand new committee looking at how to get 200,000 jobless people into work. This committee is chaired by Peter Bakker, CEO of Dutch postal firm TNT.

Bakker is, of course, the obvious choice to chair such an influential committee because of his wide business experience – particularly when it comes to getting rid of staff.
It was Bakker who last year said that if TNT workers did not agree to a pay freeze, 11,000 of them would lose their job – even though the company makes massive profits. And even with a pay freeze, 6,500 jobs – mainly delivery workers – are still to go.
TNT is also busy replacing permanent jobs with freelance piece-rate contracts suitable for retired people and students.
And now Bakker is taking on the German state for daring to impose minimum pay rates for German postal workers. TNT – which reportedly pays delivery staff in Germany a maximum of €7.50 an hour – says the German rates are too high for its business to be profitable.
Bakker clearly has a vested interest in making it easier to sack people and break minimum wage rates. So the government couldn’t have come up with a better chairman… Any bets on what the Bakker committee’s conclusions will be when they are published in June?

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