15 post offices saved out of 61 to be axed.
Fifteen of Lombardy’s 61 post offices earmarked for closure in last February’s cuts and rationalisation plan by Post Italiane have been given a last-minute reprieve.
Making the announcement, regional councillor Daniele Nava said that negotiations between the Italian post office and the regional administration and labour unions had also saved a further 15 out of 121 post offices slated for reducing opening to alternate days only.
Lombardy is the first Italian region successfully to renegotiate the reprieve, and to act as a trailblazer for other regions, said Nava. Thanks to our careful preparation of well-founded objective data, he added, we went into the negotiations well prepared.
Among the factors presented to Poste Italiane, he quoted the presence or absence of banks in the same municipality, the distance from the nearest operational post office, and the availability and frequency of local transport. As for the offices slated for alternate opening days, he listed local market days, closure of post offices in nearby towns, and tourist statistics.
Among the organisations who negotiated successfully against the closures was ANCI, the association of Italian municipalities. The president of the Lombardy section, Monza mayor Roberto Scanagatti, warned of the danger of “social desertification”. He told the post office the cuts would have meant an unacceptable penalisation of the weaker strata of the population, like the elderly and families without internet connection.