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900 workers on strike : Empty mailboxes? More postal warning strikes on Saturday

900 workers on strike : Empty mailboxes? More postal warning strikes on Saturday

Anyone waiting for a letter or parcel at the weekend could be empty handed, because the trade union Verdi is carrying out day 4 of its current warning strikes.

In the wage conflict at Deutsche Post, the work stoppages will continue on Saturday. The warning strikes will be extended, a union spokesperson said in Berlin on Friday.

Since Wednesday, the work stoppage has resulted in hundreds of thousands of letters and packages being left lying around. Measured against the total volume of mailings, however, the effects have been rather small. According to information from Deutsche Post, 65,000 parcels and 365,000 letters were delivered on Friday – that was 1.2 per cent of the total daily parcel volume and 0.6 per cent of the letters.

However, the low percentage figures refer to the nationwide volume – in regions affected by the impact, many letterboxes may well have remained empty. According to Verdi, the main focus on Friday was in Berlin, and a total of almost 2,000 employees took part in the warning strikes until the afternoon. At noon, the Post Office had only spoken of 900 – besides Berlin, mainly in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

In the dispute, the trade union Verdi is demanding 5.5 per cent more money for 140,000 employees, justifying this among other things by good business thanks to the parcel boom in online trading. The Post considers such a collective wage increase to be too high, and points to losses in advertising mail and to the overall weakening of the economy due to coronavirus. In the end, however, things look good for the Bonn-based company despite the pandemic: in the second quarter of 2020, its revenue from letters and parcels in Germany climbed by seven per cent to 3.63 billion euros. The employers and employee representatives plan to continue their negotiations on 21 September.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:200911-99-521925/4

(Original text, dpa; translation John Chandler)