At 6 a.m. this morning, the Social Inspection Services, together with police and customs, raided the PostNL warehouse in Wommelgem. There, the services found 20 violations, half of which were due to unauthorized work by subcontractor drivers. The other ten violations of part-time work are identified, where workers are offered part-time contracts but actually work longer.
Then the Social Inspection Department decided to temporarily close the Wommelgem warehouse. PostNL can petition to reopen the building, but the auditor will continue. This may take up to 14 days. Until then, it’s possible that customers who ordered a package online last weekend will have to wait for their order. About five percent of the parcels that were still in the branch during the stamping process could not be sent. However, due to the possible nature of the violations, the Social Inspectorate had to intervene.
“You can count on panic among multinationals like bol.com or Zalando, as well as among parcel companies,” says transport economist Professor Roel Jeffers of UAntwerp. “Certainly in the lead-up to Black Friday, Sinterclass and the holidays. Parcel companies in particular are now under more pressure to deliver everything on time, which is almost impossible due to the shutdown.” In addition, four trucks were closed in Wommelgem.
Moments later, another raid occurred at the PostNL warehouse, about 25 kilometers away, in Mechelen. Ten infractions were found there, all for part-time work. The services also identified an illegal employee.
At least three examinations have been performed in the past six months. Guilds speak of “modern slavery” where couriers are exploited. Carriers have to deliver approximately two hundred to three hundred parcels per day.
This isn’t the first time PostNL has lost credibility. At the moment, the company declined to comment. They want to wait for the scans to complete.
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