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Global Economy

Strike at the post office: the most important questions and answers at a glance

Postal workers have been on strike since Thursday afternoon., There may be considerable delays in deliveries., The most important questions and answers at a glance.

    Postal workers have been on strike since Thursday afternoon. Deliveries can be subject to considerable delays. An overview of the most important questions and answers.

Why are there the strikes?

The Verdi union demands 15 percent more money for a contract period of one year. The Post board rejects the demand as unrealistic. From the point of view of the trade union, there had been no progress in the second round of negotiations for the approximately 160,000 employees, which led to the call for a strike.

The majority of Verdi members at Post have a low income and cannot cope with real wage losses, Verdi negotiator Andrea Kocsis said on Thursday. Around 140,000 of the 160,000 salaried employees earned between 2,108 and 3,090 euros per month. They are hit particularly hard by high inflation, as they have had to use a large part of their income for food and energy.

The last tariff increase in January 2022 was only 2 percent. Verdi therefore considers the demands to be "necessary, just and feasible".

What is the position of the post?

The Post expressed incomprehension for the warning strikes: "Since we have already announced that we will submit an offer in the third round, warning strikes are unnecessary in our view, as they ultimately only come at the expense of our customers," said a spokesman.

Is the entire post on strike?

Not all employees are on strike, a Post spokesman said: "A total of around 16,700 employees have responded to the call for a strike, which means around a third of the employees currently present today." The Verdi union has given the number of participants in warning strikes as 15,000 since Thursday evening.

Swiss Post operates 82 letter centers, 38 parcel centers and two international post centers in Germany. All parcel centers and almost all letter centers have been on strike all day since Thursday evening, said a Verdi spokesman. There are also nationwide warning strikes in letter and parcel delivery.

How long will the strikes last?

That depends on when the union and the post office agree. The union announced that it would continue the strike on Saturday. Collective bargaining continues on February 8th and 9th. The Post has announced that it will then submit an offer.

What does this mean for my parcels and letters?

Depending on the end of the strike activities on site, it is possible that letters and parcels will not be delivered until the first half of next week, with a few days' delay. The Post announced that around 2.3 million parcels nationwide were affected by the warning strikes on Friday alone.

This corresponds to about a third of the average daily amount. Around 13 million letters are also affected, which corresponds to around a quarter of the average daily volume.

What can I do if I don't receive urgent mail?

If you have to wait a long time for your mail, you should first contact the respective postal service provider. If the problems last longer or repeat themselves, it makes sense to file a complaint with the Federal Network Agency’s post arbitration board. The procedure is free of charge and should help to reach an agreement in a dispute between the customer and the postal company if the direct route has been unsuccessful.

How do I find out where the shipment went?

As a recipient, this is difficult in many cases. If the shipping method is suitable – such as registered mail or a package – only senders can make an application to find out where the shipment has gone.

"Since the mail recipient is not the customer of the post office, the post office is not obliged to provide him with information, but also not able to provide information, because only the sender knows when and where he delivered the letter," says Harald Rotter, lawyer and member of the executive committee of the working group General Advocate of the German Bar Association.

In some cases, however, shipment tracking can help if the recipient has received the shipment number from the sender.

As the recipient, can I hold the postal company liable for items that arrive late or not at all?

"The postal service is only liable to its contractual partner, the sender," says Rotter. But then not with simple letters or parcels, but only, for example, with registered mail, insured letters or parcels. The extent to which the letter or parcel sender is liable is stated in the general terms and conditions – the level of liability is usually limited, liability for consequential damage excluded. (dpa/lko)

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