Postman fired over warning customers about fraudulent bills

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When a postman from Rotterdam warned his customers about fake Chamber of Commerce bills following a recent spate of them, he got fired by his employer Sandd, according to Dutchnews. Having read about the fraudulent bills in the paper, he recognized them on his daily route:

“I told my delivery manager, but the reply I got was that we only deliver the mail, and that we cannot and may not check the contents,” postman Rick Timmer (51) told Parool (Dutch). Timmer then went on to warn the companies along his route of his own initiative, sometimes even putting warning stickers on letters to people he could not reach in person.

Sandd thinks Timmer has violated the secrecy of correspondence, a legal right that’s enshrined in the constitution and that holds that letters may not be read while being delivered. In this light the support that Timmer got is a bit shocking: Sandd competitor TNT even offered him a new job, according to Telegraaf. Does this mean that TNT does read our letters? Because that is in my opinion the message they are now sending. Telegraaf mentions that Timmer did not open the letters.

Photo by Hans Vink, some rights reserved.

2 Comments »

  1. If he did not open the letters, how can he have broken the law?

    Does Sandd have an employment rule that allows him to read the address but nothing else on the outside of the envelope? Of course not, that’s silly.

    If he chooses to tell customers that he recognizes the letters as fraudulent, how can that be a fireable offense in a country with free speech?

    This man had every good intention and tried to go through channels before deciding to inform customers on his own. He shouldn’t lose his job as a result. He should sue for lost wages between the time he was fired and when he got his new job.

    Nice photo, Branko.

    Comment by Neil — December 13, 2008 @ 3:17 pm

  2. Kudos to TNT for offering him a new job. I hope he takes it and tells Sandd to shove it.

    Cheers,
    Eric.

    Comment by Eric — December 14, 2008 @ 1:24 pm

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