The Finnish Post and Logistics Union PAU is calling for extensive strikes against Posti. Mail delivery, handling and transportation will be on strike for two weeks in November unless a solution is found in the collective labor agreement negotiations and in the situation concerning parcel sorters. The strike begins on Monday 11.11. at 06:00 and ends on Sunday 24.11. at 24:00. The strike concerns about nine thousand workers. PAU will announce further industrial actions later if necessary.
Service Sector Employers Palta and Posti have announced during the negotiations on the collective labor agreement on the Communications and logistics sector that they want to replace the provisions of the current collective labor agreement with the provisions of the collective labor agreement regarding delivery negotiated by Finnmedia and Industrial union.
- In practice, this means wrecking the salaries and other working conditions of low-paid workers, says Heidi Nieminen.
Posti claims that almost every page of the current collective labor agreement should be torn and replaced by the provisions of the cheaper collective labor agreement. Accepting the employer’s demands would mean that the already low-paid, physically demanding work would be done with even lower wages, longer working hours and working patterns that make it hard to balance work and personal life. The employer's demands are unacceptable and lead to widespread industrial actions in the sector.
At the end of August, Posti announced that it would transfer its parcel sorters to Posti's 100 % owned subsidiary, Posti Palvelut Oy, which is organized in a different employer association (Finnmedia) than the parent company. Based on the organization of the employer, the aim is to obtain wages and working conditions that are clearly cheaper than in the general collective labor agreement in the sector. The employment terms and conditions of office employees will also deteriorate if the collective labor agreement changes.
Thus, Posti wants cheaper working conditions for the parcel sorters and for the office employees of the parcel business unit through a business transfer, and now Posti is trying to also cheapen the working conditions of other postal workers too through collective labor agreement negotiations.
- In the collective labor agreement negotiated by the Industrial union, the hourly wages are between 8,90 - 10,26 euros. A compensation of 0,8 euros per hour is paid for night work. In PAU's collective labor agreement, hourly wages range from 11,34 – 14,41 euros, and the night-time supplement is 30 % of the simple hourly rate, i.e. 3,4 euros to 4,3 euros per hour. All other terms in the Industrial union’s collective labor agreement are also weaker than in the collective labor agreement of PAU.
In September, PAU announced that there would be no work peace in the postal sector after the end of the collective labor agreement term until the parcel sorters will be transferred back to the collective labor agreement for the Communications and logistics sector.
After the business transfer, the board of Posti promised a transition period of about two years to parcel sorters during which the salaries would remain unchanged, at least in part.
Other postal workers have also been promised a pay guarantee of the duration of the collective labor agreement term, that is about 1 to 2 years in terms of personal wages and evening and night supplements. However, postal workers should be able to live on their salaries also after two years, so the proposed transition period cannot be accepted.
- For example, all new and temporary workers would be recruited with lower wages and lower working conditions. If this level of salary would be enough for newcomers, Posti would try to get rid of the older, better-paid workers as quickly as possible, Nieminen points out.
PAU doesn’t demand anything extra in the collective labor agreement negotiations, only to maintain the current terms of employment and the level of salary according to the general salary increases.
PAU has requested support from other SAK unions in its fight against the deterioration of working conditions. The transport unions have long had a mutual cooperation agreement on mutual support between the unions and most previously in 2015 the support actions of other transport unions forced Posti to abandon drastic cuts in the working conditions.
Further information: Heidi Nieminen, Chairperson, tel. +358 50 340 3217