Faced with the fall in postal traffic and new uses, La Poste announced this summer a new rate bracket that eliminates the emblematic red stamp and replaces it with an electronic letter. The end of this symbol illustrates the profound change at La Poste in which the unions see a degradation of the public postal service.
1Ahem January 2023, a page will be turned in postal history; also a page in history: the end of the famous red stamp whose existence dates back to 1849. For some, this disappearance, announced in the middle of summer, is a new example of the reduction of a public service, for others, and La Poste in First of all, it is an essential revision to satisfy the new uses of the clients. Because the reality is that the sending of letters has been competing with the internet for several years and their emails are distributed almost instantly – a practice even more widely used during the Covid epidemic – and that their volume has decreased considerably.
“In 2020 the drop in mail volumes accelerated and the universal postal service, one of La Poste’s four public service missions, entered a strong deficit (up to 1.1 billion euros)”, explains La Poste, which received from the State, on July 22, 2021, an annual budget allocation of 500 to 520 million euros depending on the results of quality of service, to compensate part of this deficit of the universal postal service. Over time, La Poste’s difficulties in guaranteeing next day delivery (D+1) of the red stamp have been added to this situation.
“The use of the Red Letter tends to disappear; households sent 45 priority letters per year in 2010, only 5 in 2021. Digital media, emails, SMS, etc. have been widely adopted for express shipments. On the other hand, for the majority of daily uses, sending administrative documents, postal items, small merchandise, the Green Card is the one chosen and acclaimed by customers,” says La Poste, noting that “the expectations expressed by the 22,000 professionals and private clients consulted by La Poste focus on reliability of delivery, mail tracking services and consideration of environmental impact. »
Based on these observations, La Poste has revised its offer. The red stamp is replaced by a digital letter, the red e-Letter “sent from laposte.fr until 8:00 p.m., printed by La Poste near the recipient, respecting the confidentiality of the content, and distributed the next day in an envelope stamped with a red stamp design This e-Letter will start at €1.49 (1-3 sheets) vs. €1.43 for today’s priority letter including cost of envelope and paper.
It is followed by the Carta Verde with its green seal (from €1.16 with a tracking option at €0.50), distributed in D+3, and a new one, the Carta Turquesa Servicios Plus. Offered from €2.95 (variable price depending on weight up to 2 kg), this new letter offers more traceability services and can be picked up in your personal mailbox by the postman.
At a time when each French household spends an average of €37 per year on postal items (mail and parcels) compared to €45 in 2016, La Poste hopes to better meet the expectations of its customers with this new tariff bracket which, According to the ARCEP, the regulatory entity, responds “to the principle of affordability established by the legislative and regulatory framework. »
Union rage and petition
But where La Poste sees in its new red e-Letter a symbol of adaptability and modernity, ecologically more virtuous – and the hope of saving between 100 and 150 million euros a year – others see a further weakening of the public postal service. After pointing out that “the price policy has also contributed to the disaffection of the red seal with an increase of 33% in the last three years”, the Sud-PTT union regrets that “both for its leaders and for its shareholders (the State and the Caisse des Deposits), La Poste must become an ATM, whatever it costs the community. »
Recalling that “the priority letter (D+1) represents a complete symbol, that of service quality, since almost 89% of these letters are actually delivered the next day”, the union believes that “La Poste is aggravating the digital gap, because it will close a real option for people who have difficulties with the digital”. The union, which explains that “the post office branch has suffered more than 73,000 job cuts since 2005”, also requests that “an expert opinion be carried out about the impacts that the new postal branch would generate. More than 100,000 people are affected. »
Sud-PTT has been calling since the summer for “the freezing of the new range of mail” and has launched a petition in this regard, “We move for the Red Seal” on the Change.org platform so that the debate is in the public square. . More than 21,000 people have already signed it.
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