The week that was: 7 October, 2011

Summing up the week’s big stories on Post&Parcel, with news from Brazil, Germany, the US and Belgium… This week saw Deutsche Post achieving a major new collective bargaining agreement with German union Ver.di.

Strike action is continuing in Brazil, despite a deal between Brazil’s postal operator and national union Fentect.

USPS asked regulators to delay its request for above-inflation postal rate increases while reform legislation is sorted out by Congress.

And, Belgium’s bpost decided on a new approach to its parcel delivery service.

Deutsche Post agrees labour deal through to 2015

Deutsche Post has struck a deal with Ver.di, the United Services Union, on a new collective bargaining agreement for the company’s 130,000 employees in Germany, running to 2015.

It covers mainly working conditions, with the issue of employee wages and salaries subject to a separate agreement between the two sides, for which negotiations begun in January 2012. However, the deal did include a 4% cut in entry-level wages for new employees, so that new mail carriers will earn EU 10.70 an hour, instead of the current EUR 11.13.

As Deutsche Post seeks to respond to declining mail volumes, it has been granted extra flexibility to outsource its work, particularly in the field of transport. And, a new system of partial retirement will support older workers. More »

USPS asks for more time to consider “exigent” postal rate rise

The US Postal Service has asked regulators to wait until December 15 for its submission of a request for a major rate rise to counter the financial effects of the recent recession.

USPS said it was “not an appropriate time” to submit a fresh request for a major postal rate rise, since bills being debated in Congress include proposals to force a sudden increase in prices for any mail products that do not currently pay for themselves, while the White House is set to allow a one-off exigent rate increase independent of regulatory control.

But, in case the Congress legislation fails, USPS does not want to lose the option of pursuing an “exigent” rate rise. More »

Brazilian postal strike action continues despite union deal

Brazil’s national federation of postal workers accepted a conciliation agreement for a new collective bargaining agreement with the Post and Telegraph Company (ECT) this week – but the deal was promptly rejected by the regional unions.

The case now goes back to the courts for a fresh judgement that may take a more punitive view on the days that workers have taken off to strike.

Meanwhile, strikes have continued across the country, involving about 23,000 of the 110,000-strong work force, although the level is not even across the country. Today (October 7), ECT won a court ruling forbidding strike action to involve more than 40% of the work force in any single district. More »

bpost reveals bid to grow parcel presence

Belgium’s bpost is making an aggressive push to claim a bigger share of the parcels delivery market with a major new plan to reposition its services, especially with a view to e-commerce opportunities.

It is bringing together its separate parcels and logistics services like Taxipost, Corpco and Eurosprinters to launch a new unified parcel service brand – Bpack.

And, the company is planning a roll-out of on-street package collection and delivery stations in order to transform its delivery systems for packages. Bpost currently delivers around 23m packages a year, working for 6,000 major customers. More »

And finally…

As Apple mourned the passing of its inspirational co-founder, chairman and CEO Steve Jobs this week, it was revealed that the company is to launch a new hybrid mail service through its iPhone smartphones. More »

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