Post Office CEO to work for no pay

Lars G Nordström, President and CEO of the Swedish post office (Posten), has announced that he will forgo his salary.

Post Office CEO to work for no pay

He has been severely criticized in the media for his salary of 900,000 kronor ($106,204) per month, the equivalent of 45 postmen. Nordström responded on TV4’s morning news programme on Saturday that he is prepared to forgo his entire salary.

“I am aware, as you have implied, that this is a hopeless discussion for me to conduct. I have therefore decided to forgo my salary, out of regard to Posten, Posten’s employees, Posten’s customers and myself, because I do not like the insinuation that I am greedy,” he said to TV4.

TV4’s presenter then asked Nordström if he plans to forgo his entire salary, to which he replied:


Lars G Nordström will therefore pay back any salary received since being appointed to the post as CEO in the summer and will be paid no further salary for the remainder of his employment at Posten.

The company has confirmed that the decision is entirely his own.

The salary awarded to Nordström is double that received by his predecessor Erik Olsson, according to Dagens Nyheter. Explained at the time by Posten’s chairperson Marianne Nivert as it did not include any pension nor bonus entitlements.

However Lars G Nordström will not be feeling the pinch this Christmas as he receives almost five million kronor in annual pension from his time as CEO of Swedish state-owned bank Nordea. In addition he receives a total of 1.2 million kronor from directorships at Nordea and state-owned telecom company Telia Sonera.


‘Hero’ postal worker ends UK man’s ID nightmare

A British man who was stymied in his attempts to retrieve his passport from a Stockholm postal outlet finally has the document in hand thanks to the service-minded efforts of a "heroic" postal employee.

'Hero' postal worker ends UK man's ID nightmare

“It’s as if the human face of Swedish bureaucracy was somehow able to shine through and solve my problem,” UK-native Marcus Bush told The Local on Tuesday.

A few weeks ago, Bush had mailed his valid British passport and Swedish identity card to the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) as part of his application for Swedish citizenship.

But when the agency sent back his British passport via registered mail, Bush was shocked to learn he couldn’t use his UK driver’s licence to verify his identity when he picked up the envelope.

As of April 15th, Swedish postal operator Posten no longer considers foreign driver’s licences as a valid form of ID to pick up a package, even if the licence was issued by another EU member state.

The situation became all the more urgent as Bush is scheduled to travel to Prague next week and he was uncertain he’d be allowed to board the plane without his passport.

“I really didn’t know what I was going to do,” he said.

In a last ditch attempt to solve the matter, Bush walked across town to a post office actually managed by Posten, rather than the local, independently-managed outlet to which he had been directed to pick up the envelope containing his passport.

“I figured, what do I have to lose? Maybe an actual Posten employee had more discretion than an agent who risks losing his contract if he doesn’t do everything by the book,” said Bush.

To help his case, Bush took with him an expired passport, a recent utility bill, as well as proof of homeowners insurance and “basically anything I could find” that could help prove he was indeed the person to whom the envelope was addressed.

Much to his surprise, the ploy worked.

“The woman at Posten quickly realized my predicament and even offered to run back to my neighbourhood postal agent to pick up the envelope and bring it back to her office,” Bush explained.

“She told me that if I came back in an hour, I’d be able to pick up my package.”

And sure enough, when Bush strode into the post office on Tuesday, the Posten employee with whom he had spoken duly presented him with the envelope containing his passport.

“But now you have to open it before I let you leave,” she said as The Local looked on.

Bush ripped into the envelope to find his UK passport, prompting a wide grin.

“It feels like Christmas,” he said with delight.

The Posten employee, who wished to remain anonymous, explained that cases like Bush’s occur “all the time”.

“The difference is that since I work for Posten, I have the authority to make a decision about someone’s identity,” she explained as she promptly borrowed Bush’s passport to verify once and for all that he was who he claimed to be and update records to show he had in fact received the envelope.

In an effort to show his appreciation for the woman’s efforts, Bush handed over a bouquet of flowers to the startled Posten employee, who blushed as she accepted them.

“Oh no, you shouldn’t have,” she said.

“It’s the least I could do,” Bush replied.

Passport in hand, Bush can now travel to Prague worry-free.

“I’m thrilled that this all got sorted out. But I think the Migration Board should think about how the deal with situations like this so that others like me don’t end up with the same problem,” he said.

David Landes

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