BruggeDirk De fauw, the mayor of Bruges, calls on the government to be creative to keep the postal company Bpost running. He himself uses cultural workers to man a corona testing center. “That is also possible with the higher government.”
“We heard in the media this weekend that our Belgian postal company Bpost will not be able to deliver up to 25,000 parcels a day to Belgian families,” De fauw begins his argument. “The fact that Belgians are switching en masse to online purchasing is more than understandable in these corona times. We can more than applaud the fact that they are trying to do this en masse at Belgian companies. Now more than ever we have to support our Belgian companies, SMEs, suppliers, … effectively. Every euro we spend on them does not flow abroad. Our neighbors, our family, our friends also work in these Belgian companies… ”
“If just at such a turning point – from switching from physical to online sales – the Belgian protagonist indicates that he will not be able to deliver up to 25,000 parcels per day at home, then this is fatal for the perception. Every day everyone sees the delivery vans from, for example, the Dutch PostNL in our streets deliver parcels at home. Parcels from bol.com from abroad that were ordered yesterday evening and are already in the mail today. Talk about a service. ”
The director of our cultural center now coordinates the test center together with the GP circle
“All understanding for the employees of Bpost who are literally and figuratively working themselves crooked these days to get everything delivered on time. But sometimes it really isn’t possible anymore. Just like the water in our healthcare sector is also up to the lips. ”
150 staff without real work
“This is more than regrettable and should make us think. Perhaps the local level can also be inspiring in this respect for the Flemish and federal level. Bruges is one of the cultural cities of Belgium. Corona is also heavily impacting cultural tourism sectors. Due to the mandatory closure of our museums and cultural center, more than 150 staff members were left without real work. As city council, we could ‘easily’ place them on temporary unemployment as well. We deliberately chose not to do this and deployed these people effectively in sectors where there are now very high needs due to the corona crisis. ”
“For example, a new corona testing center was recently opened in Bruges. Since the start of the corona crisis, people from the Bruges healthcare sector have also done a lot of work and saved many lives. Just think of the HABO GP circle, the nurses, the logistics employees… they deserve our great respect, but for them the basket is sometimes more than full. Just like with the employees of Bpost. For this reason we have joined forces. The director of our cultural center now coordinates the test center together with the GP circle. The technical team is responsible for the guidance and smooth flow of the patients. Many museum employees voluntarily chose to take up a care function in our residential care centers. There they relieve the workforce by taking on logistical tasks. For our staff it is not a cultural experience this time, but a sense of purpose that is greatly appreciated.
“Couldn’t what has been rolled out locally be a source of inspiration for our higher authorities? Our Flemish and federal cultural institutions are also closed due to corona. More than motivated and committed employees are also at work in these institutions. They too could provide great added value in heavily taxed Bpost. They, too, could contribute to real support for online purchasing locally and thus support our local businesses, SMEs and suppliers. And yes, there may be dozens of reasons why all of this should not be possible at our higher level. But let us start from the acute need and a concrete solution that may be there for the taking. Who will take up the challenge? ”
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