Wage agreement: moderate terms - strike averted

(PresseBox) ( Bonn, )
- Deutsche Post and Ver.di agree on job security, pay raise and additional working time
- Head of Personnel Scheurle: "Good news for employees, customers and shareholders"

Deutsche Post and the services trade union Ver.di reached an agreement today in their collective-bargaining negotiations for about 130,000 company employees. Both parties agreed on an extended job security pact, a pay increase for workers covered by the collective-bargaining agreement and additional weekly working time.

Specifically, Deutsche Post and Ver.di reached a consensus on extending the employment pact to June 30, 2011, or by 39 months. The employment pact rules out layoffs. As a result, Deutsche Post is continuing its long tradition of offering secure jobs to its workforce.

The Group's employees covered by the agreement will receive a one-time payment of 200 euros as well as a 4 percent raise that takes effect on Nov. 1, 2008. Ver.di had originally demanded 7 percent. In addition, the workers will receive a 3 percent raise in December 2009. This ensures planning security for more than two years. The working week for workers covered by the agreement will remain at 38.5 hours. In return, Deutsche Post won an agreement to reduce paid breaks, i.e., employees will work about 50 minutes more each week for the wages set by the bargaining agreement. Ver.di's original demand for 10 additional days to shorten the total working time - or vacation days - has been dropped.

The working week of Deutsche Post's civil servants will remain at 38.5 hours - as opposed to rules applying to other federal civil servants. This agreement is still subject to approval by the German finance minister. Paid breaks for this employee group will be reduced as well, meaning that the previously mentioned additional work on top of the 38.5 workweek will take effect.

The agreement, which is still subject to approval by Ver.di's collective-bargaining commission, will run through June 30, 2010.

Walter Scheurle, Management Board Member in charge of personnel, expressed his satisfaction with the agreement: "Despite tough conditions, we have reached a compromise that both sides can live with," Scheurle said. "The long-term agreement reached without further strikes is good news for our employees, customers and shareholders. It also gives the company planning security."
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