UPDATE: German postal workers to continue strike on Friday

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UPDATE: German postal workers to continue strike on Friday
A Verdi banner announcing the strike hangs outside of a DHL building in Baden-Württemberg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Philipp von Ditfurth

Postal workers in Germany have extended their strike into Friday in an ongoing conflict over wages.


Following a walk-out that saw 6,000 postal workers withdraw their labour on Thursday, the union Verdi has called on employees in Deutsche Post's letter and parcels division to continue the strike into Friday. 

The latest round of warning strikes were called by union Verdi after pay negotiations between Deutsche Post and its employees ground to a halt. 

The workers' side is demanding 15 percent more pay for the approximately 160,000 pay-scale employees in the Post & Parcel Germany sector - a figure that Deutsche Post says is far too high. 

The move followed three days of warning strikes last week in which an estimated 30,000 postal workers took part. One million parcels and three million letters went undelivered across the country over the course of the walk-out. 


READ ALSO: Postal workers across Germany go on strike


Responding to the news of the Thursday strike, a spokesperson for Deutsche Post said Verdi's move was hard to understand since the company had planned to make an offer to its workforce on February 8th. 

"These strikes are unnecessary because, in the end, they are only to the detriment of our customers," he added. 

Along with subsidiary DHL, Deutsche Post is one of the largest courier companies in the world and represents the majority of Germany's postal service. Originally state-owned, it was privatised in the late '90s, but the German government still maintains a stake in the company's stock.

The firm saw a major uptick in its revenues in recent years as more and more people turned to online shopping and deliveries during the pandemic, while even the ailing letter received a boost due to an increase in advertising mail.

However, an increase in energy prices and a return to brick-and-mortar shops after Covid have impacted the company's profits more recently. 


Deutsche Post emphasises that it needs financial leeway for investments that would potentially secure jobs in the long term. If staff costs rise too much, this could put the brakes on investments and thus cloud the future, it argues. 

Verdi, on the other hand, has pointed to the performance of the workforce during Covid and to the sky-high inflation hitting real-term wages. "The strikes are a clear signal from our members towards their employer," said Verdi vice-president Andrea Kocsis.

Deutsche Post parcels

Parcel carrier Turan Oeztekin of the Deutsche Post DHL Group logistics and postal services company sorts parcels in his van as he delivers parcels in a residential area in Dortmund, western Germany. Photo: Ina Fassbender / AFP

Ahead of the February meeting, Deutsche Post issued an outright rejection of the pay rise the union is pushing for, Kocsis said. "This is a provocation to which the workers are giving an unequivocal answer with their strikes," she added.

She said the group expected to make a record profit in 2022 and owed the success to its employees. Against this background, the wage demands are "necessary, just and feasible".

READ ALSO: Germany sees record post-war inflation in 2022

The warning strikes were initially planned to last until midnight on Thursday - but could potential continue into the weekend.

"It may well be that more warning strikes will follow in the next few days," Thomas Großstück of Verdi NRW told DPA on Thursday.



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