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La Poste finds new tasks for postmen

Postmen are going to start checking on the health of the elderly or delivering library books

6 October 2010

POSTMEN will be carrying out a range of new services such as collecting library books and checking on elderly people’s health, to compensate for falling use of post.

New technologies have been leading to less and less use of traditional paper letters and La Poste is expecting their overall contribution to its revenues to fall by a further 30 per cent over the next five years. What is more, the firm will theoretically be open to full competition from next January, when its last monopoly, on light letters, is to end.

One solution is to cut staff: it is planned that in the next five years only one in four postmen retiring will be replaced. Another is to give the postmen new tasks.

La Poste says it wants to capitalise on postmen’s “very positive image” to offer new services. These will include a partnership with pharmacies, so as to deliver medicines to people who have transport difficulties, and ones with bodies such as departmental councils or charities to check on the ill or elderly. The check-up service will be called “Bonjour facteur!”(Good morning, postman!) and will be offered regardless of whether the person has any post that day.

La Poste is also working with local authorities to set up a service of delivery and collection of library books, CDs and DVDs.

Photo: la Poste

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