Postal unions back efforts to improve contracts

Postal workers unions have reacted positively to recommendations from government troubleshooter Ruud Vreeman on improving pay and conditions in the budget mail sector, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

Veerman said in his report on Tuesday employers and unions should have until April 1 to agree how to ensure a suggested 80% postal delivery workers have a proper contract by January 2014. He also recommended setting up a special fund to help finance the transition.
In particular, the unions say they are pleased Vreeman supports their view that paying workers a few cents for each item they deliver is not suitable for the bottom levels of the Dutch labour market.

Freelance contract

Budget mail firms pay nearly all their delivery staff through a type of contract known as an ovo – a stripped down freelance document which excludes sick and holiday pay and pensions.
When the postal market was fully liberalised, new players agreed to make sure most of their staff were on proper contracts within a few years but they have since gone to court to have the deal overturned.
The unions hope to start negotiations with the employers ‘as soon as possible’.

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