Starting next Monday, the Verdi union will have a vote on whether to call an indefinite strike at the post office. The Verdi members employed by the post office can decide on this up until March 8, as the union announced on in Berlin.
If more than 75 percent of those surveyed reject the postal tariff offer, open-ended industrial action is to be initiated. The last time there was a strike at the post office was in 2015, when spin-off postal parcel companies with lower pay caused resentment. The current collective bargaining conflict is about the amount of the pay increase.
Verdi is demanding a one-year contract with 15 percent more wages, the management does not consider this economically viable. Swiss Post offers a two-year collective agreement with various financial components. According to company information, for example, the entry fee of a parcel sorter would increase by 20.3 percent during this period and that of a delivery person by 18 percent. In addition, the tax-free inflation compensation premium should flow to a total of 3000 euros.
Next step towards strikes
From Verdi's point of view, the management's proposal is not enough to offset the consequences of inflation. The offer is "far from our demands," says Verdi Vice President Andrea Kocsis.
There had already been warning strikes in the past few weeks - that's the name of work stoppages that take place before a ballot and are temporary. These industrial action measures had delayed the dispatch of millions of letters and packages. Last week, Verdi declared the negotiations to have failed, and with the timetable now set for the ballot, the union is taking the next step towards strikes. Should these really come, consumers would have to be prepared for considerable delays in receiving shipments.
The collective agreement applies to around 160,000 parcel carriers, postmen and other Post employees in Germany. According to Verdi, more than 100,000 of them are members of the union.