The state-owned Czech Post company will close 300 of its branches, which is about a tenth of the current total. Branches are located in dozens of cities across the country. The Post Office will also lay off about 1,600 of its current employees. This is due to serious economic problems, economic losses in recent years and efforts to transform the company, the Czech News Agency reports.
The changes should take place from the First of July of this year. The branches will be closed without compensation. The post office closes branches mainly in those cities where there are more than one. If there is only one branch in a given village or city, there will be no changes. The exact list of closed branches was published by the Czech Post at the end of March. After the closure, about 2,900 branches will remain operating throughout the Czech Republic instead of the current 3,200.
The Post Office wants to reduce its economic losses by reducing the number of branches and laying off employees. Last year, the company’s operating losses amounted to 1.75 billion. Czech crowns, which is more than twice as much as in the previous year, according to the Czech News Agency.
Mayors of cities and villages, where it is planned to close one or more branches, are protesting against this decision. According to their statements, the changes will bring problems with the availability of postal services, especially for the elderly and disabled. Getting to the new post office, over long distances, will be more difficult. The mayors want to try to reverse the decision and start new negotiations with both the post office and Transport Minister Vit Rakushan.
“113 mayors will take part in the negotiations on the cancelled branches. Some meetings have already taken place,” Interior Minister Vit Rakushan said. In some regions, mayors are joined by regional governors.
The situation in the Czech Post office will be discussed again by the government in the spring, and it will not only be about the “branch business”. But also about how the state enterprise will be financed in the future. It is expected that in June the government will submit a proposal to the Chamber of Deputies for discussion on what and how to do with the Czech Post, the website reports iRozhlas.cz.