ffor the German postal service the year 2023 could start with a wage conflict. On Monday, the Verdi union demanded 15 percent more wages for the approximately 160,000 employees of the Bonn-based group over a period of twelve months. The Post immediately rejected the claim as “unrealistic in the amount mentioned”. Negotiations are scheduled to begin in January. At the turn of the year, Swiss Post’s peacetime obligation also ends.
“Our members expect inflation compensation and also a share in the company’s success,” said Verdi negotiator Andrea Kocsis after the decision of the wage commission. Negotiations are now scheduled to begin on January 6th.
Shortly before this, the Swiss Post’s peace obligation ends. “Strikes are not excluded from January 2023,” Kocsis had already announced in a letter to the Verdi members. A deal must be “significantly higher than the collective bargaining agreements of recent years.”
The post and earnings had last agreed on wage increases in September 2020. At the time, the agreement, with a term of 28 months, stipulated, among other things, that wages and salaries would increase by three percent on January 1, 2021 and by another two percent on January 1, 2022.
The Post drives the lion’s share of their profits outside of the traditional mail business in the Federal Republic. Overall, the Post expects an operating profit (EBIT) of 8.4 billion euros in the current year, the letter and parcel business in Germany should contribute around 1.35 billion euros. In the case of letters, the group is struggling with falling mail volumes and income with rising energy costs. In addition, complaints from customers have increased recently. For the time being, however, the Bonn-based company cannot turn the price screw. Because the postage for a standard letter, currently EUR 0.85, has been fixed by the regulator, the Federal Network Agency, as planned until the end of 2024. Therefore, the group “cannot simply pass on cost increases to our customers,” said a spokesman.
At 10.4 percent, the inflation rate in Germany is the highest it has been since 1951, because energy has become significantly more expensive as a result of the Russian war against Ukraine. Groceries are now much more expensive.