Swiss Post deliveries could be cut to 3 days a week, new report claims
According to a report from Schweiz am Wochenende, the government will soon submit a proposal designed to radically reform the postal service in Switzerland. The plans, which involve cutting Swiss Post services down to just three days a week, are expected to be submitted by Federal Councillor Albert Rösti on January 31.
Swiss Post faced with financial issues
According to the report, Rösti, who is the minister in charge of the postal service, is planning a major overhaul of Swiss Post and its various functions within Switzerland. The proposal is seen as a response to the financial issues being experienced by the state-controlled company - for instance, in a statement on January 9 the company said it was looking to cut expenditure by 10 percent between now and 2025.
Much of the financial decline is because fewer letters are being sent. Swiss Post confirmed that they transported 1,647 million letters in 2023, “5,6 percent fewer letters compared to the previous year.” “Over the last 20 years, letter volumes have declined by around 40 percent overall,” the company continued.
New plan would see class-based post scrapped in Switzerland
Under the plans, the government will abolish the current A- and B-class postage system for letters. Every letter of similar size will cost the same to send and be delivered during the same timeframe, reducing bureaucratic and delivery costs.
The timings of deliveries would also be changed. From 2030, the plans state that the postal service would go from delivering A-class mail six days a week from Monday to Saturday, down to just three days a week for all letters - it is unclear whether parcel deliveries would also be subject to the three-day rule. Rösti is expected to submit the plan at the end of January.
While not part of the proposal, Schweiz am Wochenende also revealed that Rösti may be looking to go further to reduce costs. “Today, [by law] 90 percent of the local population in every canton must be able to reach a post office within 20 minutes on foot or by public transport. Here too, Rösti apparently wants to loosen the rules a little,” the newspaper wrote - a spokesperson from the office of minister Rösti refused to comment on the claim.
Swiss Post opposes government reforms
The announcement has been met with alarm within the post office, with officials noting that this goes against the company's wishes. Speaking last year, Swiss Post head Roberton Cirillo said that “even if the overall volume of letters is continuously declining, the share of A-Post remains stable at around a third. This clearly shows that A-Post is a need.”
Postal union Syndicom is equally unpleased, with spokesperson Manuel Wyss telling Blick that the idea could lead to thousands of people losing their jobs. “We will strongly defend ourselves against clear-cutting. The postal service should remain attractive - this includes A-Post, which our postmen reliably deliver from Monday to Saturday. People want a strong public service,” he concluded.
Thumb image credit: KILO LUX / Shutterstock.com