Czech Post employees criticize working conditions

OC Breda

Letter carriers overwork and work safety rules are routinely violated at the post office. This is claimed by some trade unionists and some former Czech Post employees. The current ones are afraid to speak out.

Some workers are planning to go on strike in the autumn. Interior Minister Jan Hamáček promised that he would investigate working conditions at the state-owned company. Roman Burda, for example, has worked at the post office for 36 years. He had routinely “piled on” tens of thousands of kilos per shift.

“Four tied car tires, two tied jeep tires, weight machines, trampolines. These shipments were definitely around a hundred kilos, ” Burda described. He said he had to move it all himself. Working at the post office put a strain on his health.

“I have a partially disabled left shoulder, and I’m the second case of occupational disease in a workplace,” Burda continued. According to the union, occupational health and safety rules are just scraps of paper at the post office. 

“Women have to handle parcels that are heavier than 15 kilos. A delivery woman normally has a suitcase that is heavier than that 15 kilos, or even more than that,” Bohdana Majerová, spokeswoman for the Independent Trade Union Congress of the Czech Post, confessed.

Hamáček wants an explanation

Because of poor working conditions, some postal workers want to go on strike in September. The management of the post office strictly denies violating the rules of work safety. “There is certainly no risk of violating the rules at the Czech Post. After all, this is proven by the dozens of state inspections that took place last year, which found no wrongdoing,” argued spokesman Matyáš Vitík.

But Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said that he does not take the information lightly. The Czech Post belongs to his ministry. “I will discuss the whole matter with the director, and I will want him to check the whole situation and to document me that. From the point of view of work safety, the situation at the post office is fine,” Hamáček said.

The postal workers’ strike is expected to start on 29 September and last for three days. Two trade unions want to join the strike.