Trade Union Opposes Attempt at Covert Privatization of Bulgarian Postal Operator

Business | September 11, 2013, Wednesday // 16:17
Bulgaria: Trade Union Opposes Attempt at Covert Privatization of Bulgarian Postal Operator Photo by BGNES

The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) has threatened to stage a nationwide protest in front of the Council of Ministers building unless a stabilization plan for the state-owned postal operator Bulgarian Posts EAD is prepared and approved next week and the salaries of the operations personnel are increased by 10%.

Plamen Dimitrov, CITUB President, expressed worries about the current condition and future of Bulgarian Posts EAD at a Wednesday press conference.

"We were given assurances about the financing of Bulgarian Posts, scant as it may be, but the plans to seek a strategic investor are unacceptable and inadmissible," Dimitrov stated, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), commenting on a September 3 meeting with Transport Minister Danail Papazov.

Papazov announced on September 3 that a strategic partner would be found for Bulgarian Posts EAD by the end of the month which would acquire 49% of the company.

He claimed that Bulgarian Posts EAD needed efficient and professional management, adding that, if necessary, foreign managers could be attracted into the company, but no change of ownership was to be allowed.

Dimitrov said that funding to the tune of BGN 12.5 M a year, combined with good management policies and dialogue with the trade unions would help the postal operator get on its feet.

He insisted that the Transport Minister had to give up plans to seek a strategic partner of the postal operator, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski had to find a formula for securing initial financing of the company to the tune of at least BGN 5-7 M, and socialist leader Sergei Stanishev had to vow to not allow the privatization of Bulgarian Posts EAD.

The CITUB Chair made clear that a failure to satisfy the demands would result in a nationwide protest of some 1200-1500 employees of Bulgarian Posts EAD on September 25 in Sofia.

According to reports of Sega daily, in the first half of 2013, Bulgarian Posts EAD increased losses to BGN 6.3 M from the level of BGN 5.7 M in the first half of 2012.

Sales of the company fell by 3% to BGN 63 M.

The average gross wage at Bulgarian Posts EAD is BGN 503 and around 1/3 of the total headcount of 12 000 have switched to a reduced work schedule.

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Tags: CITUB, Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria, privatization, Transport Minister, Danail Papazov, Bulgarian Posts, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, Sergei Stanishev, Bulgarian Socialist Party
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