A joint International Seminar organized jointly by the Post & Logistics Wing of Union Network International - Asia Pacific Regional Organisation (uni-apro Post & Logistics) and Asia Pacific Postal College (APPC) Bangkok was held at Bangkok (Thailand) from 2010 December 13th to 14th. Another Seminar jointly organised by uni-apro Posts & Logistics and State Enterprises Workers Union, Thailand Post (Sewu-thp) was also held at Kanchanaburi (Thailand) on 15th and 16th December 2010. Com: M.Krishnan, Secretary General, National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE) attended both the Seminars on invitation from UNI-APRO Post & Logistics.
Union Leaders from the following Asia-Pacific countries attended the Seminars.
1. India 2. Pakisthan 3. Nepal 4. Srilanka
5. Thailand 6. Philippines 7. Malaysia 8. Hong Kong
9. Japan 10. Mangolia 11. Vietnam 12. Korea
The Seminar held at APPC, Bangkok was most informative. Sessions on the following different subjects were held. Eminent Lecturers of APPC made the presentations.
1. International Dimension of Post : Mr. Aras
2. Business Excellence - Business
Dimension of Post - Changing Scenario : Mr. Shailendra Kumar
of Postal Business Dwivedi
3. Mail, Parcel and Logistics Management : Mr. Shailendrakumar Dwivedi
4. How to make Post Profitable under the
Financial crisis : Mr. Aras & Mr. Shailendra
5. Reforms in China Post : Mr. Liu
6. Operational Excellence - Operations
Dimensions of Post : Mr. Aras
7. Human Resource Management : Mr. Shailendra
Opening Ceremony on 13.12.2010 was addressed by Mr. Elichi Ito, Director, UNI-APRO Post & Logistics Sector and Mr. Masayuki Nakota, Director International Department of Japan Postal Union. A visit to the highly automated and modernised Mail Center at Lakshi (Bangkok) was arranged by the State Enterprises Workers Union (Postal Employees Union) Thailand Post on 13.12.2010. Certificates to the participants were distributed at the closing Ceremony.
Seminar on 15th & 16th was held at Kanchanaburi, one of the finest tourist centre, in Thailand. The welcome speech was delivered by Ms. Tentip Chaichit, Vice General Director on Human Resources, Thailand Post. Mr. Roengnarong Ismael, President of SEWP-THP (the only one trade union of Postal workers of Thailand Post) made the opening remarks. Mr. Elichi Ito, Director of UNI-APRO Post & Logistics in his lecture explained about UNI-APRO Posts & Logistics. Mr. Somboon Sabsam made a presentation on "overall situation of Thai Labour movement". Mr. Roengnarong Ismael, the President of SEWP lectured on the subject "Building Social Partnership to Thailand Post, the Genuine Unions Success".
After the Lectures the overseas participants made presentations about the present scenario of the Postal Services in their country. A sight seeing trip was also arranged by SEWU-THP. The four day seminars concluded at 4PM on 16.12.2010.
Main High Lights
1. The presentations made by the Lecturers of APPC on 13.02.2010 & 14.02.2010 covered various aspects of the Post & Logistics Sector. The mission, Jurisdiction, Role, structure, function and importance of Universal Postal Union (UPU) was well explained. Scope of Business Management in Postal, Postal Environment and Strategy, Trends and drivers affecting Postal Sector, contemporary business environment, transition of mail sector, management innovation and essential changes in the organizational culture are also explained. Mail strengths, positive postal factors, role of competition, definitive trends, new realities of the Postal Market Place, Technological factors, the future of Post etc. were elaborately narrated. It is emphasized that competition has delivered choice for many and reduced prices of Postal products, increased innovation and improved quality of services for all customers. The changing Postal world, major changes affecting the market and Business environment, Need for change, process improvement, improving productivity, Transport planing and scheduling, strategic issues in Delivery Service were discussed. Interdependence of marketing, operations and human resources, function of human resource management, efforts required to change, importance of providing training on new methods / products, cultivating happiness in workplace, need to involve workers in decisions and giving them a sense of ownership are the other issues came up for discussion in the APPC Seminar.
2. The joint Seminar organised by the SEWU-THP mainly concentrated on the problems faced by the workers with particular reference to Thailand. Thailand has been successful in the economic development since the economic crisis in 1997. In 2006, the economic growth was 5% and this year (2010) the growth rate is predicted about 6 to 7%. Inflation rate is approximately 2 to 3%. There are about 1400 trade unions (in all sectors), 19 Labour Federations, 12 National Centres. As per Article 25 of the state Enterprises Labour Relations Act B.E.2543 (2000) of Thailand a worker has the right to organize a trade union, collective barging, negotiation and organise activities, but cannot hold any strike. All disputes, including wage disputes are to be resolved through negotiations. The main threat faced by the workers in the Govt. sector is privatisation move of the Govt. Out sourcing, contracting work, sub contracting, early retirement, short term employment of part-time workers, reduction of permanent workers, attack on job security and trade union rights are the method adopted by the Government. Concerted efforts are made by the Govt. to reduce state ownership in service sector and to create stronger role for private sector. Methodology adopted for privatisation is same as in India.
3. The situation prevailing in the Postal Sector of other countries is briefed as follows by the Union leaders who participated in the seminar.
(a) HONG KONG : Hong Kong Post (HKP) is still a government department. Market competition maily comes from the four major global courier & logistics companies i.e.. DHL, Fedex, UPS & TNT. Number of Post offices 127 including GPO, international mail centre, Airmail Centre and 124 other Post offices with retail and delivery functions. Number of regular employees 5347 and contract staff 2217. 1.38 billion mails handled during the year 2008-2009. Total turnover 591.6 million us dollars and operational profit. 45.4 million Us dollars in the year 2008-09. Postmaster General is the Chief of the top management of HKP. 70% of mails are processed under mechanised system.
(b) JAPAN : Privatisation talk started in the Diet (Parliament) in April 2005. The Govt's stance regarding the Postal Services was to privatise Japan's Postal Services from the start of that session. When the privatisation of postal services developed into a political issue, the government ignored the voice from citizens and customers over this issue. Public opinion were divided. After the House of councillors voted down those bills, the then Prime-Minister Koizumi dissolved the lower house followed by the General Election 2005. The ruling party (LDP) won a landslide victory over this issue. A package of privatisation bills was again submitted to the special Diet Session and approved in October 2005. On October 1, 2007, Japan Postal Public Corporation was privatized and broken into four companies under the holding company owned by the Japanese Government. Mail related services are being offered by mail company and Post office company. When General election took place in August 2009, the opposition backed by Japan's Postal Union swept a landslide victory. As a result, the law to freeze the planned sales of shares of Postal Group companies was passed in Diet on December 4, 2009. After the election to the Upper house of Parliament in 2010 ruling parties did not get majority in Upper house. While ruling parties gains the lower house, the opposition parties hold majority in the upper house. In May 2010 Postal reforms bills for reorganising the Postal sector were passed in the lower house. According to the bills, the current three companies such as mail delivery, Post office and holding company were merged into one as a new holding company. Two Postal Financial companies were placed under the new holding company. The Govt. planned to own 1/3 plus shares of the holding company. Simultaneously this holding company was designed to own 1/3rd plus shares of two financial companies. However the new Postal reforms bills were not legislated before the Parliament session was over. Thus talks of Postal reforms bills will start over again in the next parliament session. Postal reforms has become a centre point of discussion in political Postal Union in Japan closely keeps an eye on political trends.
A fierce competition is going on in the parcel market. Private parcel companies have upgraded the logistic system from collection to delivery. They have diversified service lineups. More competition is expected in future in the postal market. Japan Post Express is the third largest player in terms of market share, but its market share is declining.
Japan Post has been improving its service qualities in order to satisfy with customer needs. It has advanced technology for domestic and international mail services. There are 24600 Post offices.
(c)KOREA : Korea Post has a monopoly of letter mail in Postal Services by Postal Law. After Govt. making Foreign Trade Agreement (FTA) with United States for opening markets including Postal Services, monopoly will be reduced. Present market share of Govt. Postal Services 100% in letter mail, 88% in express mail and 12% in parcel mail. Courier Services are also operating just like in India.
(d) MONGOLIA : Postal company fully owned by Government. Other companies working. Market share of Govt. company letter mail 55%, Express mail 30%, Parcel Service 75%. Total Post offices 385.
(e) MALAYSIA : Initially the Postal Services as a Govt. department then corporatised w.e.f. 1.1.1992 and subsequently privatised in September 2001 under companies Act of 1965. The compnay is now called "POs Malaysia". There are about 120 courier services competing in the mails market.
(f) PHILIPPINES : Postal Services Corporatised as "Phipost" in 1992. Govt. proposes to privalise the company.
(g) VIETNAM : Postal Services in Vietnam is corporatised. There is no move for privatisation. Private Courier services are also operating.
(h) NEPAL : Postal Services is still under Govt. monopoly. Private courier services are also operating.
(i) PAKISTHAN : Corporatised in 1992. It is being considered for privatisation through Privatisation Commission of Pakisthan Government. Facing stiff competition from both domestic and international players.
(j) SRILANKA : Govt. department. No corporatisation or privatisation process. Private Couriers are also operating.
(k) THAILAND (already explained above)
4. REFORMS IN CHINA : Chinese Postal services is run by China Post Group a Public Limited Company. There are several subsidiary and Provincial companies under the China Post Group. Reforms started in 2007. At that time total employees 10 lakhs. Now the number of employees are 4,11,000. Number of Post office 54000. Computerised Post offices 37000. Postal vehicles 64868. Railway carriages 422, Aircraft- 17, letter sorting machines - 95, Parcel sorting machine - 85. Private companies are also operating. Market share of Govt. company 80%.