A PostNL parcel depot in Belgium had been closed by government officials investigating organised fraud by a number of subcontracted delivery firms.
Apart from the depot at Wommelgem near Antwerp, depots at Mechelen and Ardooie were also searched by the Belgian labour inspectorate.
A spokesman for PostNL told broadcaster NOS ‘no formal reason had yet been given explaining the closure’ but according to Belgian paper De Tijd, some 10 infractions involving part time work were found at Wommelgem as well as dozens of cases of drivers working illegally. One driver was found to be in the country illegally.
The Belgian inspectorate is holding PostNL responsible for the actions of the subcontractors.
The current investigation is part of a bigger investigation into fraud by PostNL subcontractors.
In May the labour inspectorate of Mechelen decided to bring charges against PostNL and delivery firm GSL for not acting against illegal practices, such as underage drivers and illegal work. It also said the fraud was related to drivers’ poor pay and conditions. The case is due to come to court next spring.
The closure of the depot at Wommelgem means thousands of parcels will now take longer to deliver. ‘We will do all we can to inform our clients and make sure they get their package as soon as possible,’ the PostNL spokesman said.
In November last year the Dutch labour inspectorate concluded that nine out of ten delivery firms used by PostNL, DHL, DPD and GLS were breaking the law.
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