05/08/2015, 12:50 PM CEST

Ver.di bargaining demand amounting to 12.5 percent is divorced from reality

Current ver.di demands hamper competitive labor costs  

Deutsche Post has announced that these companies will create at least 10,000 new permanent jobs by 2020.

  • Current ver.di demands hamper competitive labor costs 

Bonn - During the fourth round of wage negotiations on the trade union ver.di’s demands for a shortening of weekly working hours from 38.5 to 36 hours with full wage adjustment, ver.di today made a further demand for a 5.5 percent increase in collectively agreed salaries for Deutsche Post AG’s approx. 130,000 pay-scale employees.

“Ver.di’s demands for a reduction in weekly working hours with full wage adjustment, whilst further calling for an increase in collectively agreed salaries, are divorced from reality. This would equate with a salary increase of 12.5 percent and mean an additional increase in labor costs of approx. €600 million. Quite simply, the proposition is not financially viable and, indeed, would considerably exacerbate the already substantial labor cost disadvantage we face compared to our competitors,” commented Melanie Kreis, Deutsche Post DHL Group’s Board Member for Human Resources and Labor Director.

The demand for a working week which is 2.5 hours shorter with no loss of pay is, in itself, equivalent to a salary increase of approx. 7 percent – added to today’s demand this would equate with a total increase in excess of 12 percent.

During the first round of negotiations, Deutsche Post proposed a 36-hour model which surpassed ver.di’s demand and would have brought additional flexibility to weekly core working hours, on the proviso that wage adjustment negotiations would be included in the outstanding demands to be discussed during the next collective bargaining round.

In light of the substantial gap in labor costs, Deutsche Post established new regional parcel delivery companies which are subject to regional collective agreements agreed between ver.di and the forwarding and logistics sector. Although they are slightly lower than those under the Deutsche Post collective agreement, they still surpass the wages paid by the majority of the competition. Deutsche Post has announced that these companies will create at least 10,000 new permanent jobs by 2020. Over and above this, 3,800 employees who were formerly on temporary contracts at Deutsche Post have transferred to the new companies on permanent contracts. As such, 6,000 employees are already working in these companies, over 2,000 of whom were hired externally.

The necessity of introducing a competitive wage level for newly hired delivery staff derives from the existing wage level at Deutsche Post which is twice as high as that offered by the competition. In the long term, such a wage gap endangers the competitiveness of Deutsche Post. In 2014, Deutsche Post proposed to find a solution within the framework of the collective agreement; however, the social partner declined the suggestion.