Romanian Post has insisted it does not intend to announce major job losses and wage cuts by the end of 2012, as claimed by postal unions.
Ion Smeeianu, the director general of Romanian Post, responded to press stories and a release sent out by union leaders by accusing them of a “malevolent campaign of media disinformation” aimed at postal workers and the general public.
In a public statement, he said: “The board of directors of Romanian Post has not submitted any proposal for collective redundancies or wage cuts.”
The Romanian Post director general said management was in negotiations with the unions with the hope of reducing payroll costs, which represent 70% of the postal operator’s total expenditure, “compared to an average of 50% in similar companies in the EU”.
He said at the end of August that management proposals “designed to strengthen the company’s market position” had been rejected by Romanian postal unions.
However, Smeeianu said protests by postal workers were “illogical” given that the only proposed job losses were in the restructuring of more than 500 management and administrative positions.
“At Romanian Post it is now essential for us to focus on efficiency, bringing profit to the company and a successful privatization, as we have the summation by international agreement with the IMF,” he said, referring to the agreement with the International Monetary Fund under which reforms are being made and the government is to sell off a minority stake in the Post to a private sector investor.
“Romanian Post management reiterates its willingness to find solutions through dialogue and social, aimed at preparing the company for the forthcoming liberalization of postal services in Romania,” said Smeeianu. “Any intentional sabotage of management approaches aimed at long-term stability of Post Office, its modernization and alignment with international standards can only be considered as ill-will.”
Romania is one of a final 11 European Union countries that will open their postal markets fully to competition in January 2013.
Back in March, the company recorded a profit for the first time in three years, making a EUR 1.4m gross profit in the 12 months up to December 2011, compared to a EUR 30m loss the year before.
Last month the Romanian government issued a formal notice seeking an independent consultancy to advise in the privatisation process for Romanian Post. The Ministry of Communications and Information said it was seeking an investment bank or consultant of international standing with experience in privatisation to assist in preparing and carrying out the sale of a stake in Romanian Post.
The Ministry said it was looking to attract an investor interested in a stake of at least 20% of Romanian Post shares.
Source: Post&Parcel/Romanian Post