Friday, September 29, 2023

Could Jean Muls’ complaint against bpost turn against him?

According to his version, after learning of the agreements between bpost, the Flemish newspaper publishers (DPG and Mediahuis) and the distributor PPP to take over the newspaper distribution market for the years 2023-2027 – subsidized by the Belgian State with about 150 million of euros per year -, wanted to deepen the investigation. He began to find evidence of the involvement of one or another bpost executive in this collusion. Furthermore, he claims that at the time of his dismissal, all bpost employees claimed to have no knowledge of the fraud in press contracts that he had uncovered, while in the meantime “it appears that several now-fired bpost employees, including the CEO of the group, Dirk Tirez, was aware of the fraud” even before his own appointment.

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Chris Peeters, Elia’s boss, will take control of bpost

Amount of 200,000 euros

Jean Muls demands 200,000 euros from bpost. This amount corresponds to what would correspond to him “according to European regulations as a whistleblower who was the subject of an unfair dismissal.” If he wins his case, this money “will be used, once legal costs have been deducted, to support organizations that protect whistleblowers,” he specifies. It should be known that he had received 650,000 euros – or one year’s salary – when he was fired, ten months after being hired.

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Does Jean Muls, who always considered that his actions were not questionable, have a chance of winning his case? On the bpost side, the reaction is minimalist but confident. “We will defend our decision and we trust the court’s ruling,” explains the press service without wanting to say more.

According to our information, the board of directors unanimously decided to dismiss Jean Muls for incompetence. “Which has nothing to do with serious misconduct that is much more difficult for the businessman to prove,” explains a lawyer. We can imagine that bpost will justify his decision with supporting documents. We might even wonder if the public company, soon to be run by Chris Peeters, might not want to fight back by suing Jean Muls for damage to his reputation.

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Will the new bpost boss, Chris Peeters, receive as much as Elia, i.e. €1.35 million a year?

The same question arises for Dirk Tirez, who has remained silent since he was fired in December 2022. As soon as the procedure gives him the opportunity to defend himself, he will also not want to go so far as to want to prove that he has nothing. reproach yourself? Jean Muls demands a provisional euro in compensation.

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