Attributing dissatisfaction to the small number of workers in that municipality in the district of Aveiro, where the number of employees has been “insufficient to guarantee the efficient delivery of mail”, the regional and national director of SNTCT António Pereira told Lusa that, on Friday the strike will be in effect throughout working hours, and from Monday to the 27th will be concentrated in the period from 8:30 am to 10:30 am.

“The post office is in bad shape throughout the country, but Santa Maria da Feira is a completely different case, as it is chaotic. Now everything is much worse, the mail is piling up and what should have been delivered within one to three working days is now taking a week or even two.”

António Pereira said that the municipality’s distribution centre is designed to deliver 200 items of express mail per day, ensuring their delivery to recipients “in 12 to 24 hours”, but, on average, “he is receiving 300 to 500 daily – and not long ago he accumulated 1,400 in a single day”.

To make the situation worse, the post no longer had a subcontracted transport company to help with the distribution of the mail, because, “in view of the increase in fuel prices, it updated the price of the service and CTT preferred to terminate the contract”, resulting in “three less vans and three fewer people to ensure the work”, he said.

Questioned by Lusa, the management of CTT – Correios de Portugal did not respond to specific questions such as the number of professionals in effective positions, the number of employees on sick leave and the average amount of correspondence received daily in the centre, but admitted “the existence of constraints in postal distribution in the municipality”.

According to the company, these problems have two reasons and the main one is “the high absenteeism” registered at the distribution centre, aggravated in the last two weeks by “infections with Covid, which puts additional pressure on the normal functioning of the network”.

The management stated, however, that “CTT has been trying to mitigate this situation since the first day, providing the temporary reinforcement of resources through the hiring of more employees”.