Bpost and Flemish newspaper publishers reach agreement on distribution

Postal service Bpost has reached an agreement with Flemish newspaper publishers on the distribution of newspapers from 1 July. Bpost will deliver 75 per cent of the newspapers it currently distributes. There is not yet an agreement with the French-language publishers.

At the end of last year, the federal government decided to reduce the subsidies for newspaper distribution and, as a result, Bpost risked losing the distribution. The government granted Bpost a transitional period of six months.

Flemish newspaper publishers have now made a new deal with Bpost to continue having newspapers delivered from July. “Over a period of two years, we will transfer 75 per cent of the volume to AMP, a subsidiary of Bpost, and we will ensure the continuity of newspaper delivery across the entire Flemish territory,” Bpost CEO Chris Peeters told Flemish public broadcaster VRT. The remaining 25 per cent will go to one of Bpost's competitors.

"People with a Bpost contract will continue to carry out activities with us"

From 1 July, Bpost will no longer receive subsidies for newspaper distribution. There remains, however, a grant given to the publishers. “They have the freedom to choose the most competitive proposition they find on the market and we are very happy that we have been able to attract most of the volume,” said Peeters.

The postal company will operate more cheaply through new contracts. From 2025 until mid-2026, distribution will be gradually transferred, region by region, to AMP. This year, newspapers will still be distributed by postal workers.

Peeters said Bpost would not have to lay off any staff. “People with a Bpost contract will continue to carry out activities with us,” he said. “They already do other tasks besides their newspaper round, for example a classic letter round or a parcel round. We will ensure that they can keep working with the same type of contract. However, the newspaper round will systematically disappear from the system.” Some temporary contracts may be discontinued at some point.

The French-speaking unions did not agree to this course of action and negotiations with the French-language publishers continue. A strike in Brussels and Wallonia, which began on Monday, has ended.

#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT


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