20 years of European Social Dialogue

Joint Contribution to the Postal Services Directive and Declaration on Training in the Digital Era

The European social dialogue committee for the postal sector (SDC) celebrated its 20th Anniversary at their Annual Plenary on 6 December 2019.  On this occasion, the European social partners signed two important documents to mark the occasion and continuous dialogue: a “Joint contribution to the review of the postal services directive” and a “Joint declaration on training in the digital era”.

20th Anniversary of the Committee

2019 is a special year for the SDC as it celebrates 20 years of postal social dialogue activities at a time when the industry is transforming.  On this occasion, high-level speakers including Botond Szebeny (Secretary General of PostEurop), Oliver Roethig (UNI Europa Regional Secretary) and Jörg Tagger (European Commission DG Employment Head of Unit for European social dialogue) underlined the successful results of the SDC over the last two decades and the strong involvement of all stakeholders.

“It is such a pride for the postal sector to be among the first sectors to have created a committee for social dialogue at European level. In a context of strong evolutions in such a labour-intensive sector, it is key that the voice of European social partners is being heard. For that reason, it is important for PostEurop to ensure an active participation in the SDC and a fruitful and continuous exchange with trade unions’ counterparts, UNI and CESI” said Botond Szebeny in his speech.

Postal services directive

The “Joint contribution to the postal services directive” review was adopted following the formal request made to the Committee by the European Commission DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW).  Participants had the opportunity to present this contribution to DG GROW representatives who attended this event. With this joint document, the European social partners underline in particular “that the universal service is the core of the European regulatory framework for postal services.”

Training in the digital era

Following a two-year project on Social dialogue and Training in an enlarged Europe, the Committee formalised its main shared findings. This joint declaration confirms the important role of the SDC and testifies to the awareness among the European social partners on the strategic importance of employees’ training to facilitate the change process and the diversification in the sector.

Mr. Francesco Barbaro Costa, Chair of the SDC Training, Health & Safety working group (left) and Mr. José Oliveira, SDC Vice-President (right)

In this document, the European social partners agree that awareness of the importance of social dialogue at the national level is steadily increasing. In this regard, they acknowledge that the SDC deliverables contributed to the national discussions. Over the years, the Committee has gained in reputation among its members and European stakeholders thanks to its activities and the joint declarations signed. The project’s outcomes confirm that digitalisation has a strong impact on job functions at all level of the organisation. The declaration further underlines that training and upskilling in a lifelong learning perspective are essential for the employees to acquire the necessary skills, develop new competencies and offer new services, especially in an increasingly digitalised world

As a follow-up to this joint declaration, the SDC obtained the approval from the European Commission for the funding of a new project on “Postal Skills and Work Environment in the Digital Era”.  This project will be conducted in 2020-2021.  It will set-out to analyse the main future skills, in particular “digital skills” required in postal occupational functions identified. It will also study the impact of digitalisation on working conditions, investigate the relation between the employees, new technologies and robots in a highly digitised working environment, also from a health and safety prevention perspective.

 For more information on the SDC and projects, please contact:

Margaux Meidinger 
Chairwoman of the PostEurop CSR Activities Circle
T: +1 55 44 23 73

Cynthia Wee-Neumann 
Communications & Public Affairs Manager
T: +2 2 773 11 92

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