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Latvian postal service workers divided over coming changes

After the plan to close Latvian Postal Service (Latvijas Pasts, LP) offices was suspended, discussions were not over. Postal workers are divided - some are looking for other solutions with their union, and some are signing a letter in support of the changes, Latvian Television reported on February 22.

Thursday morning, all post offices received an open letter with a space left at the end for the employees' signatures. This letter does not have a specific author. It is an open letter from postal workers.

It expresses support for the initiative to close some of the post offices. The letter states: "Ask yourself - how often do you go to the post office? For a parcel, pension, a stamp or an envelope?  You can get all this from your postman using the 'Postman at Home' service".

The problem is that the postal office employee union has pointed out that they did not prepare this letter. According to the union, this supposedly open letter was written by the management of the company.

Nearly a hundred workers reported a strange collection of signatures to the union. The union said that signing the letter was like sawing off a branch on which they were sitting.

"We feel that the workers are being misled by this letter. That they are being asked to agree to a plan that has been loudly stopped," explained Irēna Liepiņa, President of the Latvian Communication Workers' Union.

The letter also praises the management of the post office for its good deeds. 

The union was confident that this letter was written under the supervision of the postal management.

"Definitely from management, someone at management level. To somehow justify the suspended plan. You don't need an excuse, you need a plan and action to develop jobs," Liepiņa explained.

Latvian Television asked the management of the post office. And yes, a letter was sent to all post offices by Mārtiņš Liepiņš, head of the Post Offices and Delivery Department at Latvijas Pasts, who also worked on the plan to close some of the post offices.

He said that no employee was being pressured to sign the letter and there was no conflict of interest or any problem in helping to draft the letter.

"I personally do not see any. Again, the initiative came from the staff. In our Facebook work chat. We see that the employees are in favor of change," Liepiņš said. "We saw the employees, we heard them and we helped to create this letter. Then we help to disseminate it. But we in no way encourage, coerce, or ask people to sign it."


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