Post and Telecommunications
- 27 Nov 2006
Greece: New two-year agreement signed in telecommunications company
Employees at the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation held 24-hour regional strikes during the period between 8 and 19 September 2006; the workers’ demands were mainly non-pay related. Some of the demands were met with the signing of a new company-level collective labour agreement on 22 September 2006.
- 27 Nov 2006
Belgium: Postal workers strike over restructuring of services
During 2006, a wave of strikes has taken place among workers within the Belgian postal services. The discontent among staff was triggered by the implementation of a software programme, ‘Géoroute 2’, which is a new system for organising delivery rounds that aims to rationalise the distribution of mail. Implementation of the programme has led to redundancies and an increased workload for the postal delivery workers. At local level, trade unions are trying to enter into negotiations with the management of the Belgian Post Office in order to resolve problems brought about by introducing the new system.
- 25 Sep 2006
Portugal: Controversy over major takeover bids
In June 2006, the Portuguese government passed a bill to transpose the European directive on takeover bids into national law. The government took this decision against the background of ongoing acquisitions negotiations for two of Portugal’s largest and strategically most important companies. The communications group Sonae has made a public offer for the acquisition of Portugal Telecom (PT), while the leading private bank Millennium BCP is trying to take over the BPI investment bank. Both acquisitions would result in major restructuring in the respective sectors, leading to a considerable reduction of personnel. To date, worker representatives at PT and BPI oppose the potential takeovers.
- 12 Sep 2006
Bulgaria: First agreement signed in telecommunications sector
In July 2006, the first ever social dialogue agreement in the telecommunications sector was signed at the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC). Coming in the wake of a period of tension between the social partners at BTC, the signing of the agreement marked a promising step towards the further development of social dialogue and collective bargaining in the telecommunications sector. The agreement sets out the principles for relations between the social partners and the framework for collective bargaining within BTC.
- 18 Jul 2006
Poland: Positive outcome of strike action at K-Tel
K-Tel Sp. z oo, with head offices in Poznan, has been operating in the telecommunications sector for over a decade. In January 2006, K-Tel signed a contract with Telekomunikacja Polska SA, the national telecoms operator, to maintain the telecommunications infrastructure in Bielsko Biala and the surrounding district in southern Poland. Despite this expansion, K-Tel’s management made plans to reduce staff numbers and to modify the wages system. In response to these plans, employees at K-Tel’s Bielsko Biala branch launched a protest on 5 April 2006, which eventually evolved into a hunger strike. The dispute was resolved on 21 April with the signature of an agreement accepting most of the union’s demands.
- 15 May 2006
Malta: Union loses dispute with Public Broadcasting Services
The General Workers’ Union in Malta argues that proposals agreed in the new collective agreement of the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) should still apply to employees who, following a restructuring exercise, were redeployed or given early retirement. However, the Industrial Tribunal has rejected the union’s claims and has decided that the new collective agreement will only cover workers currently employed by the PBS.
- 08 Feb 2006
Malta: Dispute over forced leave at Maltapost
In January 2006, Maltapost, Malta's national postal service, became involved in an industrial dispute with the Union of United Workers when management decided to deduct a day from the annual leave entitlement of postal delivery workers who were told not to work due to inclement weather.
- 25 Jan 2006
Austria: Union opposes privatisation of postal services
In January 2006, the Austrian government agreed to sell off 49% of the state’s shares in the Austrian Post Company by summer 2006. These privatisation plans have met with harsh criticism from the Union of Post and Telecommunications Employees (GPF) and the parliamentary opposition. They argue that the company is not ready for privatisation and fear further large-scale staff cuts as well as a dilution of postal services across the country. However, protest actions organised by GPF appear unlikely to delay the privatisation process.
- 04 Jan 2006
Italy: New collective agreement reached for telecommunications sector
In December 2005, trade unions and employers in the Italian telecommunications sector signed a draft collective agreement for the 2005-8 period. The industry's 120,000 workers will now be asked to approve the new agreement in workplace assemblies. The deal introduces numerous changes, notably an extension of its coverage to include call-centre companies and the introduction of new rules on subcontracting and outsourcing. Both sides have expressed their satisfaction with the draft agreement, although worries have been voiced concerning the issue of market regulation and the role of the Guarantee Authority for Telecommunications.