A wake-up call for us as spoiled consumers, that's what the media calls the situation at PostNL. Employees who have to deliver up to five hundred parcels a day and who work on starvation wages. And we, as consumers, are all involved in this. What Uber does with taxi rides and meal delivery, PostNL has been doing with our packages that are delivered for years.

An estimated XNUMX parcels will not be distributed in the coming days now that after a raid at PostNL it appears that everything is wrong with the employment conditions. After an action by the social inspectorate, customs and police in Mechelen and Wommelgem, the large Antwerp branch was immediately sealed. There is talk of undeclared work, fraud, numerous employment contracts that are incorrect, drivers without a residence permit. In short, the company seems to be okay with nothing.

The action came in response to various reports of possible social violations.

false self-employed

Tom Peeters, representative of the Belgian socialist transport union BTB, calls these workers one of the many modern slaves. Subcontractors who have only one client. bogus self-employed in other words, often socially vulnerable profiles, often with a migration background. The Dutch trade union FNV has also been making hunt on such company. Working days of twelve hours and more are no longer an exception for parcel couriers. 

The fact that the raid happened just before Black Friday, Sinterklaas and the holidays is purely coincidental, according to the labor prosecutor. Because it concerned serious infringements, the company was legally sealed. That meant no one was allowed to go in anymore. PostNL announced that it wants to work closely with the labor inspectorate and that it wants to do everything possible to get the parcels stored in Wommelgem delivered as quickly as possible.

According to the NOS, the raids in the context of a larger investigation by the Belgian judicial authorities into fraud at PostNL's subcontractors in Belgium. In May, the Mechelen labor inspectorate decided to prosecute PostNL and parcel deliverer GLS. It finds them responsible for the malpractice and fraud committed by their couriers because they pay them too little.

At the beginning of October, a raid took place at PostNL in Mechelen and at the end of October preparations began for a lawsuit against the Dutch parcel deliverer in Antwerp. The trial itself is scheduled for next spring. PostNL is accused in Belgium of failing to act against fraud at subcontractors.

Read also: Uber: a platform for bogus self-employed persons

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