06/08/2015, 12:45 PM CEST

Deutsche Post: Demands from ver.di put jobs at risk and offer no potential for growth

Ver.di's proposal does not contribute to a sustainable future for employees or the company.

  • Group rejects latest demands from trade union ver.di
  • Ver.di's proposal does not contribute to a sustainable future for employees or the company
  • Proposals actually fall short of existing agreements
  • Threat of unlimited strike is unreasonable

Bonn - After close examination, Deutsche Post today dismissed the demands made by the trade union ver.di in the sixth round of collective bargaining negotiations.

"Ver.di's proposal does not contribute to a sustainable future for employees or the company. By demanding that the regional parcel delivery companies, which have been operating for months, be disbanded, the trade union is challenging its own regional collective bargaining agreements for the freight and logistics industry. Now they are calling on 130,000 Deutsche Post AG employees to go on strike in protest against regional companies, in which 6,000 employees work under collective bargaining agreements," says Melanie Kreis, Board Member for Human Resources and Labor Director at Deutsche Post DHL Group. "This so-called proposal, which came with the ultimatum that it be accepted immediately, and was therefore not even open to negotiation, does not resolve our issues. Additional costs of around EUR300 million would considerably exacerbate our competitive disadvantage," says Kreis.

The company proposed talks with ver.di last year to fundamentally modernize the existing collective bargaining agreement structure. This was in light of the rapid growth in the parcel business, which will again require extensive investment in the coming years in order to remain competitive and meet customer demands. Wage levels that are double that of competitors hinder Deutsche Post from remaining competitive in the medium term. Therefore, the company proposed more appropriate market wages based on the regional collective bargaining agreements ver.di made for the logistics industry. Ver.di rejected these talks on principle. The company thereupon founded several subsidiaries and announced it would create at least 10,000 new jobs by 2020. Now some 6,000 employees work for these new companies, more than 2,000 of which are new hires that are paid in accordance with ver.di's industry wages. "This new structure is essential if we are also to ensure that Deutsche Post AG employees can continue to work at above-average conditions," says Kreis.

The latest demands from ver.di are shortsighted and are an obstacle to finding a sustainable solution. The proposed improvements to the special payments and the automatic age-related wage increases do not reflect the regional ver.di collective bargaining agreements in any way. Furthermore, the proposals are for a limited period until 2020, with no after-effects. There is also no accounting for the different cost of living from region to region. The demand for five years' protection against dismissal goes far beyond all current regulations as well as the agreements ver.di has made with other industries. Indeed by demanding the complete integration of parcel delivery into the company collective agreement, this proposal actually falls short of the special provision agreed to years ago.

Moreover, the list of proposals includes demands that are not part of collective wage agreements but are regulated by legal contracts, such as the demand to forego subcontracting in the parcel business.

Deutsche Post views the threat of unlimited strikes as unreasonable and counterproductive to the ongoing negotiations. Employees who are not affected by the regional companies are being called upon to strike. As with the warning strikes in previous weeks, the company has announced that it will minimize the impact on customers as much as possible.

"No-one will lose their job on account of DHL Delivery. No-one should fear lower pay or loss of vested rights as a result. However, we will not be able to remain competitive in the future unless we have a sustainable competitive wage structure. We call on ver.di to return to the negotiating table and to work with us in the interests of our employees and their future," says Melanie Kreis.