PostNL: We will defend our position forcefully

PostNL: We will defend our position forcefully

CEO of PostNL Belgium, Rudy Van Rillaer, has been arrested by the Belgian police, according to local news sources.

The Belgian police arrested nine people in raids at PostNL depots on Monday 28 March.  A spokesperson for PostNL Belgium said that three of the nine are still in custody. Het Laatste Nieuws reported that Van Rillaer is one of them. The “operations manager” is also still incarcerated. According to Het Laatste Nieuws, the three are accused of leading a criminal organisation involved in human trafficking and forgery. The court will decide on their pre-trial detention on Friday, the newspaper said.

In November a PostNL parcel depot in Belgium was closed by government officials investigating organised fraud by a number of subcontracted delivery firms.

Post NL have posted a letter to its customers on their website written by Liesbeth Kaashoek Director of Parcels & Logistics Benelux, PostNL : “On Monday 28 March, we were jolted once again by aggressive action on the part of the Belgian legal authorities against PostNL people in Belgium and against the delivery partners delivering your and our parcels in Belgium. Two of our depots were sealed off and a number of our colleagues were even arrested. This course of action by the Belgian legal authorities is extremely intimidating for our people, of course, while prosecutor for the employment courts Gianni Reale has used the media to accuse us of “people trafficking”, being a “criminal organisation” and “forgery”.

PostNL understands that customers might be concerned about the action on the part of the Belgian legal authorities against PostNL people in Belgium and against the delivery partners delivering our parcels in Belgium. I fully understand that, as our customer, you may well be concerned about these reports, hence this letter.

There has been no official notification whatsoever of the serious allegations, that are being aired without any evidence. We are totally in the dark as to what these suspicions are based on, making it very hard for us to defend ourselves against these persistent allegations.

We emphatically deny such major allegations, and would point out that the picture being painted does not resemble our daily work practices. As far as we’re concerned, there are no grounds whatsoever to besmirch PostNL’s good name in this fashion, and we consider this action out of all proportion and unacceptable. We stand firmly behind our people and delivery partners and are doing everything within our power to secure the swift release of our colleagues.

The way this situation is being handled raises major questions about the arbitrariness displayed by the relevant authorities in their actions. I should reiterate that, over the past few months, we have consistently provided our full cooperation with the authorities’ investigations and questions, and that no major or structural wrongdoing in our way of working has come to light. Meanwhile, we have further enhanced our controls and taken additional measures to ensure compliance with the country’s social legislation.

We will defend our position forcefully and we look forward with confidence to any legal procedures that might ensue. At the same time, we will continue to cooperate fully – as we have done to date – with all investigations made and questions asked by the authorities.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we stand by our people and our delivery partners, as a modern and engaged employer and client. And we will of course continue to take care of the millions of online orders that we deliver to consumers for you and for all of our customers, and do so with our own people, our own regular group of delivery partners and with their deliverers – in a customerfriendly, social and sustainable way. Every single day.

I will keep you posted on this situation, but if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We value the trust our customers place in us and want to keep you fully informed.”

 

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