Postal Digest: UNI condemns sackings; USPS upgrades website

A round-up of some of the other headlines in the global postal industry, also including Poste Italiane’s consumer agreement and cut in Uruguayan Post’s debt…

Union movement condemns sacking of Kenyan postal workers

UNI, the global union umbrella group, strongly condemned the Postal Corporation of Kenya yesterday for dismissing 600 workers who went on strike from Friday.

With the strike is set to continue as workers seek to reopen pay talks to seek the first pay rise in four years, UNI said Kenya Post’s actions were a “violation of the right to collective bargaining and freedom of association”.

“The strike has continued uninterrupted for the last four days and is set to continue until the Management of PCK agrees to meet us and together sign an agreeable solution,” said Benson Okwaro, General Secretary of Kenya’s Communication Workers Union, a UNI affiliate, adding that the sacking of striking workers had been an attempt to intimidate its members.

Uruguayan Post boosts revenues, cuts debt levels

Uruguayan Post achieved revenues 12% higher than expected this year, according to its latest annual report, while it has reduced its debt by 22%.

The Uruguayan government said changes in trade policy brought in $42.7m in additional sales to the postal service this year, partly thanks to a 16% increase in volumes for core services including communications and logistics.

Improvements in the postal process and a 19% boost in productivity compared to the same period in 2010 helped bring about the cut in debt levels.

USPS adds Spanish and Chinese support to website

The US Postal Service said Spanish and Chinese speakers will now be able to track packages, look up zip codes and find out about USPS products and services via usps.com.

USPS has added Spanish and simplified Chinese language support to its website, to support the two most popular languages in the United States after English. The Postal Service is hoping the multilingual addition will drive traffic by between 1% and 3%, as other companies have seen with similar moves.

“Translation of product pages and FAQs in Spanish and simplified Chinese is the latest example of how we’re improving customers’ experiences on our newly redesigned website,” said Kelly Sigmon, USPS vice president, Channel Access. “Other major enhancements planned for the near future will build on the goal of expanding customer access to our products and services and improving customer service.”

Poste Italiane signs agreement with consumer groups

Poste Italiane has signed a framework agreement with 19 different consumer groups, promising to boost communications with them as part of efforts to improve the quality of products and services.

The signing of the agreement marked a “key moment” in the relationship between the largest service company in the country and associations representing the interests of citizens, said Massimo Sarmi, CEO of Italy’s postal service. The agreement defines key areas for discussions at regular consultation meetings, which should have a “significant” impact on customers, Poste Italiane said.

“The agreement injects additional energy into dialogue that has led to very positive results for both sides over the past ten years,” said Sarmi. “The agreement consolidates the good relationship with the associations and demonstrates a level of maturity in relation to the interests of the consumer which is essential for a company with as strong a social responsibility profile as Poste Italiane.”

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