Farewell to public postal service - Michael Briguglio

The Malta Independent, Sunday 20 January 2008


The government’s sale of its remaining 40 per cent stake in Maltapost is the last step in the dismantling of the postal service as a public service in Malta.

The government has washed its hands of the responsibility of providing a public service with social responsibility. Postal services will now be fully commercialised, meaning that non-profit services that have a high social value, are not likely to have a bright future. Postal offices will now belong entirely to the private sector, meaning that the State will have less say in ensuring the social obligations of postal services. Maltapost will first and foremost be accountable to its shareholders, who will be given priority over the concerns of its workers and clients. This is taking place when traditionally State postal services in Malta were always reliable and efficient.

Due to privatisation, the number of Maltapost workers has been reduced from 872 to 581, meaning that less workers have to do more work, thus increasing exploitation of such workers, who now have tougher and more stressful working conditions and less job satisfaction. The workers deemed as surplus by Maltapost were treated as unwanted staff, and were absorbed into the public service, thus resulting in a feeling of alienation among many such workers, whose service to Maltapost throughout the years was not recognised.

We can now expect to have inferior postal services and more demotivated staff with inferior working conditions, in a situation that is more neo-liberal than in most EU countries.

Zminijietna – Voice of the Left is critical of the stance taken by UHM, which did not oppose the privatisation of Maltapost and is now experiencing the reality of unsatisfied workers. UHM’s lack of action against privatisation facilitated the dismantling of this public service.

Zminijietna – Voice of the Left invites all political parties in Malta to state whether they are in favour of Maltapost reverting to a public service company.

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