Thousands of national mail service TNT employees in the Netherlands stand to lose their jobs. The cuts come after union members voted in favour of a reorganisation plan guaranteeing jobs for the remaining workers. A 64 percent majority of workers opted for their own job security rather than for solidarity with the workforce as a whole.
An alternative plan involved salary cuts in exchange for a three-year job guarantee for all, but that plan was rejected on Monday in polls organised by three unions.
TNT has said it is necessary to reorganise because of increased competition and because traditional postal services are being replaced by e-mail and cellphone communication. Explaining the need to cut costs by 125 million euros, a spokesman for the mail delivery company said, "It is no longer possible to be a postman all your life." The company employs 23,000 people.
The restructuring plan as adopted by the employees means that 11,000 people will have to go, up to 5000 of whom will be fired. The other 6000 jobs will be eliminated gradually by retirement, not renewing temporary contracts and by leaving vacancies unfilled.
TNT postman to disappear from Dutch street (Photo: FlickR/FaceMePLS)