The first high-voltage strike in the public sector since Pedro Sánchez became President of the Government is going to come precisely from the flank of his most trusted man, his former chief of staff Juan Manuel Serrano, rescued not without controversy by the president in 2018 to become president of Correos, the public postal operator.
Four years of disagreements between Serrano and CC.OO. and UGT, the unions that represent 70% of the company's workers, have led to a total breakdown of the social agreement in the public postal operator and the call for three days of strike, which aspire to paralyze the company from tomorrow Wednesday through Friday in protest at what the trade union centrals observe as a calculated operation of scrapping public mail, at the blow of asset sales, workforce cuts and job insecurity.
The Post Office made a final attempt on May 18 to paralyze the strike by proposing mediation before the Sima, under the argument that UGT and CC.OO. they were paralyzing the negotiation of the collective agreement. The attempt was unsuccessful and the public postal operator now faces three days of strike that could determine the future of the state-owned company, stuck for three years by the open war between the current management team and the two majority unions.
The last few days have shown an escalation of tension between the parties. The majority unions accuse Correos of "deceitful manoeuvres" to try to demobilize the workers, among which they mention the calling of improvised assemblies by the heads of the sector to 'sell' the strategic plan of the Post Office, the call for meetings of representatives of UGT and CC.OO. with the objective, the unions maintain, of obtaining a photo that illustrates the existence of a negotiation or the circulation of internal notes among the employees to give the company's version.
These last-minute maneuvers by the Post Office come after nearly three years of no real dialogue between the company and the majority unions, which have systematically refused to discuss a strategic plan with Juan Manuel Serrano's team after which they see an orchestrated maneuver to scrap the company when not a preparation for a future privatization under the formula of converting the postal company into a comprehensive logistics operator.
The majority unions accuse the Post Office of sinking the traditional postal business to speed up the company's transition to new businesses and at the cost of its financial sustainability. They argue that the company has presented a millionaire hole just when its great business alternative, parcel delivery, was taking off, and that the avalanche of new projects presented and profusely publicized by the company have not brought hardly any income, starting with its international deployment in Portugal and China. and ending with the project to create a freight transport airline.
The company sells this transition as a necessity. The traditional letter business falls at a two-digit rate and Correos needs new business niches in which to grow. The plan is to become a comprehensive logistics operator capable of providing a full range of physical and digital services to its customers in the way that the French or German operators, La Poste and DHL do.
The rupture has been of such caliber that Correos has launched itself to negotiate the strategic plan and the future collective agreement that must accompany it with all the minority unions of the company, which bring together around 30% of the labor representation. A negotiation that ran in fits and starts until just 15 days ago, when a whole series of issues were unblocked, such as the expansion of the company's public job offer to 7,757 places, the implementation of the 35-hour day four days a the week or the eight-day allowance of proper affairs for this year. All this in the fifteen days prior to the three-day strike called by UGT and CC.OO.