Postal service in Baden-Württemberg hit by strikes
Letter carriers in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg will put down their mailbags on Thursday as part of a limited strike to keep pressure on Deutsche Post.
Trade union Verdi said that six of the seven main letter hubs in the state would be shut down as part of a labour dispute with Deutsche Post. Only Stuttgart, which was hit by a strike on Tuesday, will remain open.
Verdi officials estimated some eight million letters would not make it to their destinations in Baden-Württemberg. Mail is also likely to go undelivered in the small western state of Saarland, where Verdi members will strike letter and package services in Saarbrücken, Völklingen and St. Ingbert. There 120,000 letters and 7,000 packages will be delayed.
Verdi wants job guarantees for the 130,000 employees covered by the public-sector wage agreements at Deutsche Post until mid-2011 and ten shortened work days annually to make up for an increase in the work week from 38.5 to 41 hours for 55,000 postal employees.
Deutsche Post has offered to extend job guarantees until June 30 so that further negotiations can take place and has agreed to some flexibility on the working hours issue, as long as Verdi's behaviour remains "constructive." Verdi rejected the offer.