Mail in a tunnel on the Son Castelló industrial estate. | Teresa Ayuga

In recent days, images have emerged of what are said to be thousands of letters that have been dumped in certain locations in Palma - in the Can Barbara torrent and by the Son Pardo hippodrome. They were apparently thrown there by delivery personnel working for CI Postal, the company in charge of distributing notifications of Palma town hall traffic fines, and for Hispa Post, a CI Postal subcontractor.

These include electricity and phone bills. Although no traffic fines have been found, it is thought that this dumping may well be related to the complaints by hundreds of people in Palma who maintain that they have never received notifications of fines. In many instances, the discarded letters contain sensitive personal data.

Why has this happened? Carlos Escarrer, a former CI Postal delivery man, says: "They pressurised us into delivering 1,200 letters and fines every day. I am not justifying it, but I understand that there were delivery personnel who threw the notifications in the trash."

Escarrer is also a psychologist. He worked for CI Postal for two months in 2021. "It was a time with very little work because of the pandemic. I saw people having anxiety attacks and crying for fear of losing their jobs." He explains that most of the delivery was on foot and across wide areas. "Each morning we would collect the letters and the fines, but we couldn't sort them in the office. We did this at home, in the car, in parks or streets." All of this sensitive information was circulating outside official channels.

He denounced the company for mobbing and unfair dismissal and won his claim. "It was impossible to do everything in one day. People invented systems to say that the mail was delivered. The company was in chaos and all this was a consequence of the work environment."

Jaume Escales is one of those affected by a traffic fine with a surcharge. He has created a group of others who have been affected. They will ask the courts to remove surcharges. They will pay the fines but not the surcharges, which amount to up to 6,000 euros. He says that a former CI Postal employee has confirmed to him that workers were abandoning letters due to lack of time and resources.

Palma town hall points out that since these cases were detected, drafting of specifications for a new tender have begun. A sanctioning procedure against the company has also been initiated for failing to comply with the deadlines for delivery of notifications of fines. "The company has reacted and has since been complying, according to the local police and the quality department."