The social partners of the European Social Dialogue Committee (SDC) for the postal sector adopted a “Joint declaration on the role of Social Dialogue in the transformation of the Postal Sector” during their annual plenary meeting on 1st December 2016. This is the Committee’s 10th declaration since it was established in 1999 and formalised the common viewpoints among social partners, on how social dialogue can support the postal sector’s change process. It builds on the findings of the EU co-funded project “Mobilising social partners in a new context” conducted by the SDC in 2015-2016.
Following-up on the social developments in the postal sector, this declaration enables postal social partners to emphasise that effective social dialogue at all levels is an essential lever for anticipating and supporting the transformation process. Based on an in-depth analysis of the collective labour agreements in 16 countries, it recognises that postal companies have put in place numerous measures to address the process of transformation. These measures took into consideration the interests of all parties in support of the transformation process and were derived through carefully reached compromises between increased flexibility and the maintenance of working conditions.
The Joint Declaration underlines the need to enhance the awareness and competencies of all social partners on the developments and overall e-commerce strategies of postal operators. Social partners should have the necessary knowledge and tools to support the ongoing developments in the sector. For this purpose, all stakeholders are encouraged to use the Massive Open Online Course on e-commerce and proximity services developed in the framework of the project.
Through this declaration, the Committee underlines its commitment to encourage effective social dialogue at all levels as well as the implementation and wide coverage of collective bargaining at the national level to accompany in a socially responsible way the imperative of postal transformation. For this purpose, it will carry out its actions on the following points:
- Monitor the main social evolutions in the sector,
- Observe the social impact of the diversification of postal operators,
- Monitor changes in skills and other requirements,
- Follow-up the development of new services and their social impact.
“The Joint Declaration builds on the numerous projects and joint statements achieved by the European social partners since its creation. We encourage all postal operators and trade unions at the national level to take into consideration and implement its main principles. Our upcoming project on capacity-building is fully in line with the declaration and will enable to ensure its concrete follow-up ” stated Brian Scott, Vice-Chairman of the Social Dialogue Committee for postal services.