It looked like a strike at the post office, but things turned out differently. Now the parties are negotiating again. The Verdi union continues to threaten an indefinite labor dispute.
In the collective bargaining dispute at Deutsche Post, representatives of the Verdi union and the employers met in Düsseldorf for another round of negotiations. In the fourth round scheduled for the short term, the collective bargaining partners want to make another attempt to reach an agreement. Observers believe it is possible that the negotiations will last into the night. The exact venue was not initially announced.
A strike is threatening in the dispute. In a ballot at the Bonn-based group, 85.9 percent of the union members spoke out against a collective bargaining offer from the company and in favor of an indefinite strike. Nevertheless, after the voting results were announced on Thursday, Verdi had agreed to negotiate.
Verdi is demanding 15 percent more money for the 160,000 employees in the core business of the post office, i.e. the transport of letters and parcels in Germany. Swiss Post rejects this as not economically viable.
Indefinite labor disputes continue to threaten
For Swiss Post, the danger of an open-ended labor dispute has not yet been averted. If the fronts remain hardened in the new talks, Verdi could still call for a strike.
There had only been such a bitter labor dispute at the logistics company in this millennium, namely in 2015. At that time, masses of parcels and letters had been left lying around due to a lack of staff. In the current wage conflict, there had already been temporary warning strikes in January and February.
In the run-up to the fourth round, Verdi asked Swiss Post to improve its offer. If the group doesn’t move and doesn’t “submit a materially significantly improved offer, we’ll go on strike next week,” said Andreas Henze, the state department head of Verdi Baden-Württemberg, the German Press Agency. He is a member of the union’s bargaining committee.
Post offers 11.5 percent for a two-year term
A company spokesman said the Post sees the possibility that an agreement will be reached in this round. “In this round, we should try to avoid strikes that would harm customers and employees. We hope for a workable compromise.” Swiss Post has already put a good offer on the table.
The Post has so far offered a tariff increase of an average of 11.5 percent from 2024 in two steps, and from this year there should also be 3,000 euros net as inflation compensation. The company wants the new collective agreement to run for two years. Verdi, on the other hand, is only planning a one-year term at 15 percent plus. The tariff increase would apply to around 160,000 employees, namely postmen, parcel couriers and other domestic workers.