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From 2022, postmen in Finland might only ring thrice (per week)

Posti says reduced volumes of letter mail are behind the proposal which, if approved, would come into force in 2022.

Postinjakelija jakaa postia polkupyörällä.
Posti mail carrier on a bicycle (file photo) Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle
Yle News

A government working group on Wednesday suggested that state-owned mail carrier Posti reduce deliveries to three days a week starting in 2022.

The group justified scaling back from five-day deliveries because Posti is handling increasingly less physical mail. In many areas households and businesses already do not receive letter deliveries on Tuesdays.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, state secretary Olli Koski said fewer delivery days would improve cost efficiency for the company.

"This will of course lead to personnel changes," Koski noted.

Physical mail volumes are decreasing at a faster rate in Finland than in many other European countries, according to the working group, which said that it was unlikely this trend would see a reversal after the coronavirus crisis ends.

However, this past spring, Postireported rising profits during the crisis, saying it delivered one million more packages during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same a year ago.

More subsidies

The working group suggested Posti receive a temporary subsidy of 10-15 million euros per year to support weekday newspaper deliveries in rural areas. This subsidy hinges on the state's role in securing the flow of information.

The working group also proposed installing letter boxes in blocks of flats that could be used instead of individual mail slots found on apartment front doors.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications is to review the working group’s proposal, however, any reforms will still require changes to the Postal Act.

The Prime Minister's Office set up the postal working group following a series of scandals involving Posti. Late last year a protracted labour dispute at the state-owned postal firm set off a chain events that culminated in then-premier Antti Rinne resigning.

In 2019 former Posti boss Heikki Malinen stepped down following a backlash for 'excessive pay’ as he was drawing an annual salary of nearly one million euros. At the same time, postal workers earning an average of 2,000 euros per month were facing 30-50 percent pay cuts as part of the management’s plan to shift to a new pay structure.

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