December 1, 2009 / 10:27 PM / 10 years ago

TNT urges unions to reconsider work deal proposals

AMSTERDAM, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Dutch mail company TNT TNT.AS appealed to workers’ unions on Tuesday to reconsider their proposals for a labour deal as negotiations aimed at preventing massive job cuts and avoiding strike action dragged on.

Labour unions have so far rejected the company’s proposals for a new deal that include a pay cut of up to 3.5 percent [ID:nGEE5AM2HF]. On Tuesday the unions put forward alternative proposals, including a 1.5 percent pay rise.

“The proposals put forward by the unions will force drastic and rapid reorganisations resulting in a few thousand compulsory redundancies,” TNT said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

TNT said its board of management wanted to first discuss the submitted proposals and their likely consequences with the heads of the unions. Following this discussion, the firm would begin negotiations with the unions, whatever their proposal, TNT said.

Plans by the Netherlands’ largest postal firm to cut up to 11,000 jobs have strained relations with unions since they were announced more than two years ago.

TNT is trying to avoid strike actions, which have been a common feature of the industry in Europe in recent months. British peer Royal Mail was recently hit by severe strikes against its plans for cost cuts and modernisation. [ID:nLU721303]

Reporting by Catherine Hornby; Editing by Richard Chang catherine.hornby@reuters.com; + 31 20 504 5009; Reuters Messaging: catherine.hornby.reuters.com@reuters.net

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