The Polish Post Office and residents of Krakow are struggling to cope with a declining number of postal employees. The reason is simple: Low wages are prompting mail carriers and other postal workers to look for new jobs. Many of them follow the trend common among Poles in recent years and travel to other EU countries, mainly Great Britain, in order to earn much more. An estimated one mln Polish citizens now work and live in the UK.
According to the daily newspaper Gazeta Krakowska, more than 70 postal workers in Krakow have left their jobs since July. And the Post Office has major problems with hiring new workers. The shortage of employees is causing major delays in letter deliveries. People in some areas of the city are forced to go to postal offices to get parcels that should have been delivered many days earlier. Members of the postal trade union say that this problem will continue until they receive pay raises.
A mail carrier with two years experience, who walks up to 10 kilometers a day and carries about 15 kilograms of letters, earns 1,000 zloty a month. This is only about a half of the average wage in Poland, which is about 2,200 zloty (595 euro). The Polish Post Office is the second largest government department, with about 100,000 employees. It still has a monopoly for some postal services. However, every year Poland is allowing more competition from private firms.