Wages: warning strikes at the post office: every fifth package is left behind

Wages: warning strikes at the post office: every fifth package is left behind

Day 6 in the postal warning strikes. Verdi continues to insist on 15 percent more money for employees. If you’re waiting for a package or a letter, you might need a little patience.

According to the company, every fifth package and every eleventh letter has been left behind because many Post employees have stopped working. Around 13,500 employees took part in the warning strikes in various regions of Germany, a Post spokesman said on Saturday in Bonn. That is a little more than a third of the workforce in the affected locations. The failure rate of 20 percent for parcels and 9 percent for letters refers to the daily volume throughout Germany. However, there was not a strike everywhere. In regions where there were strikes, the absentee rate was higher than the national average.

Unionists expressed their satisfaction with the walkouts. “Things are going well,” said Thomas Großstück, the Verdi regional department manager responsible for postal services in North Rhine-Westphalia. A spokeswoman for the Verdi Federal Association spoke of an extremely high level of participation.

The Post spokesman said that warning strike participation varies by region and location, which means it has different impacts. Delays in the collection and delivery of letters and parcels could mean that the shipments “can only be delivered a few days later, i.e. depending on the end of the strike activities on site in the coming week”.

Union demands 15 percent wage increase

For example, there was a strike in the Bonn area, in Bochum and in the Münsterland area – many letters and parcels were left there and were not delivered. Mannheim, Stuttgart and Freiburg were also affected.

The union is demanding 15 percent more wages and salaries for around 160,000 employees in the Post & Parcel Germany sector. The claim is based, among other things, on inflation. According to the union, 140,000 postal workers receive a monthly salary of between 2,108 and 3,090 euros gross. The union argues that these wage earners are particularly hard hit by high inflation because they spend a large proportion of their net income on food and energy.

The last wage increase in January 2022 was only two percent, according to the union, with reference to the currently high inflation. The collective bargaining demands are “necessary, fair and feasible,” says Verdi negotiator Andrea Kocsis.

Management, on the other hand, considers the union’s demands to be excessive and unrealistic. The top management points out that the group needs financial leeway for investments in order to be competitive in the long term and to secure jobs. In addition, the Post points out that the group’s profit “is now largely generated in international business”.

Verdi: The workload of the postal workers is high

In fact, last year only about a sixth of Deutsche Post DHL’s operating profit (EBIT) was generated with letters and parcels in Germany, while this proportion is around a third for personnel. The worldwide express and freight business has long been significantly more profitable than the core business.

Nevertheless, trade unionists insist on a sharp increase in wages for the workforce in the German core business, i.e. letter and parcel delivery. The workload of the postal workers is high, stresses Andreas Henze from Verdi Baden-Württemberg. In delivery and in the distribution centers, employees walked “on the gums”. “They have to work faster and harder for corporate profits,” says the state department head for postal services. “Your backbreaking job must finally be financially valued.”

There had already been work stoppages at the post office last week, and the second wave of warning strikes began on Thursday. Collective bargaining is scheduled to continue on February 8th. Then Swiss Post wants to submit its own offer. “Despite the different positions, we assume that we will have fair and speedy talks in the next round of negotiations […] move forward,” the Post spokesperson said.

Source: Stern

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