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Finland - Posti plans to hire more permanent staff after extended service lapses

29 Dec 2016, 16:25

http://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/posti ... es/9376852

Finland’s postal carrier Posti has announced that it will hire more permanent mail carriers to ensure smoother service in the capital city area. This after weeks of service lapses late in the year. Since 2014 over 2,000 postal workers have left Posti as the result of redundancies and discontinued contracts.

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The Posti Group Corporation, Finland’s main postal service, has announced that it will be hiring more permanent staff to keep up with the delivery of mail and parcels in the capital city area.

Posti’s head office is located in Helsinki Pohjois-Pasila district, and at the end of 2015, the Group had a total of 21,598 employees.

Posti reported personnel reductions amounting to 423 person-years in 2015, but this eagerness to let staff go came back to haunt it towards the end of 2016, as the quality of services declined.

To fix the problem, Posti says it will conduct a thorough job orientation course for the new recruits, in addition to daily monitoring and troubleshooting.

Owning up to problems

Posti admits that there have been intermittent, short-term distribution problems in some areas. Most have occurred in the capital city area: home to the most postal traffic, but also the highest levels of staff turnover.

Area distribution manager Eikka Urpilainen won’t reveal how many new permanent positions will be created at Posti, as he says the exact numbers will only become clear in January.

He says 1,600 permanent employees work for Posti in the capital city area at present, with a team of about 400 other non-permanent workers assisting them.

"Taking on more permanent employees will help us avoid disruptions because they will be more committed. There isn’t as much turnover among them, so we can also save on orientation costs. The work requires both precision and care," Urpilainen says.

He says there may be similar changes in store in other parts of Finland, but for now, Posti’s situation in the Helsinki metropolitan area is most acute.

From shedding staff to insufficiency

Posti has seen over 2,000 employees leave the company since 2014. Some quit voluntarily, while others were made redundant. The contracts of hundreds of workers with temporary contracts were not renewed. If administrative and customer service cutbacks are included, the number of departing personnel grows even larger.

In Posti’s 2015 annual report, it said that serves some 2.8 million Finns, with approximately 200,000 business customers. It also runs the largest logistics company in Finland, with nearly 400,000 square meters of warehouse space and over 4,000 delivery vehicles that drive over 100 million kilometres every year.

Last year’s roundup proudly stated that Posti fulfilled its universal service obligation to deliver mail five days a week to all Finnish households, in line with the Finnish Postal Act.

It said the company deviated from the five-weekday obligation in the case of approximately 106 hard-to-reach households, out of a maximum allowance of 300. In 2015, Posti reported that inquiries about lost letters represented just 0.00033 percent of their total volume.

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