February 28, 2018 / 5:32 PM / in a year

Deutsche Post makes wage offer, but union will put it to a vote

FILE PHOTO: A Deutche Post sign stands in front of the Bonn Post Tower, the headquarters of German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL, in Bonn, Germany March 11, 2015. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

DUESSELDORF (Reuters) - Deutsche Post has offered its 130,000 employees higher wages, the German postal company said on Wednesday, but the union Verdi said the offer was below its expectations and its members would vote on it.

The offer included a wage increase of 3 percent from Oct. 1, followed by 2.1 percent increase a year later. It also includes a one-time payment of 250 euros ($305) in April and the option for employees to take more time off or get more money.

“Our workers are clearly benefiting from the company’s success with the offer,” said Thomas Ogilvie, board member for personnel and labor director. “The ball is in Verdi’s court.”

The offer follows negotiations in the northwestern German town of Much this week and warning strikes last week. The union had been seeking a 6 percent wage increase or more time off.

“It is a difficult offer that contains elements to all of our demands, but also falls short of our expectations,” said deputy Verdi chair Andrea Kocsis. “Therefore, our collective bargaining committee has decided to conduct a membership vote.”

Strong economic growth and low unemployment in Germany is bolstering unions in their wage demands.

Deutsche Post DHL Group is targeting earnings before interest and tax of around 3.75 billion euros for 2017, which would be a 7 percent increase from last year’s 3.49 billion.

Verdi held a series of strikes at Deutsche Post in 2015 in a dispute over pay and plans for a new parcel division. Those walkouts, one of which lasted four weeks, cost the firm 100 million euros at the time.

Reporting by Anneli Palmen and Matthias Inverardi, writing by Tom Sims, editing by Larry King

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