DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) – Germany’s Deutsche Post postal company said on Saturday it had agreed a wage deal with the Verdi trade union that would enable it to avoid an indefinite strike threatened by unionised workers.
The offer – which members still need to vote on – would give Deutsche Post’s 160,000 employees in Germany a one-off payment of 3,000 euros over 15 months and raises monthly wages by 340 euros from April 1, 2024, the company said in a statement.
That means wages will rise in total by 11.5% on average, with salaries for workers in lower-paid brackets set to increase by more than 20%.
The deal could set a new precedent after unions in other sectors in Europe’s largest economy such as the metal and electrical or chemical and pharmaceutical industries recently agreed wage hikes well below inflation.
Some 86% of members of the services sector trade union Verdi had voted on Thursday to reject a previous wage offer prompting a new round of negotiating.
Brisk inflation and widespread labour shortages are emboldening unions in Germany and elsewhere in Europe to demand double-digit wage hikes this year.
Verdi called earlier on Saturday for strikes on March 13 at the country’s northern airports, including Berlin, which it said would likely cause longer queues for passengers and flight cancellations.
German consumer prices rose by 9.3% on the year in February.
(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Sarah Marsh)