PostNL staff cancel Black Friday strike after court ruling on essential mail
PostNL employees are no longer planning to go on strike on Friday, trade union FNV has announced. The employees no longer see the point in striking after the court in The Hague ruled that PostNL staff may only strike if it does not hinder the company from carrying out certain essential postal services, the union said.
The FNV labor union may organize a strike at PostNL on the condition that the delivery of funeral mail and medical shipments is not disrupted, ruled the court in The Hague on Monday. The restriction applies until 6 January, when the peak postal service period has ended.
"The members do not want to strike under those conditions, because the impact would then be too small," said union director Mariska Exalto. The staff also do not understand why those conditions are necessary, she added. FNV will now work with its working at PostNL to see whether any actions are possible that do fit within the court's verdict.
After FNV announced it would go on strike on Friday because labor talks broke down with PostNL, the postal company said it wanted to make agreements to prevent the delivery of essential mail from suffering from those strikes and filed summary court proceedings. The judge first ordered both parties to talk to each other again, but then sided with PostNL when that did not work out. The postal company said it was satisfied with the verdict.
"Due to the conditions that have been set, we can only strike with a very small part of the staff. The right to strike is thus very limited," said Exalto said after the strike. She questioned PostNL's claim that it could not separate medical shipments from ordinary parcels. "It feels like they're using this as an excuse."
A spokesperson for PostNL in turn said that the postal company had no intention of preventing strikes. ΅We were only concerned with the conditions under which this was possible."
The conflict between the FNV members and PostNL revolves around a new collective bargaining agreement. FNV considers PostNL's wage offer to be too low, and talks between the sides broke down. Trade unions CNV and BVPP still see opportunities to continue negotiations.
The collective labor agreement in question applies to some 19,000 employees. PostNL's mail deliverers, about 16,000 people, also have their own collective labor agreement.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times