Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Minimum wage for German postal workers causes furor

According to Spiegel Online International the liberalization of the German postal market appears to be in doubt after one of Deutsche Post's main rivals announced sweeping job cuts and a second pulls out of the market in response to government plans to introduce a minimum wage for postal workers.

The Luxembourg-based Pin Group announced this week that it was cutting more than 1,000 jobs in Germany. The other company, TNT Post, announced that it would no longer be offering letter services for private customers in Germany and would restrict itself to business post.

"The company said that the planned minimum wage for postal workers in Germany meant its business model no longer made economic sense. "It's not possible to make a profit," TNT Post boss Mario Frusch told the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. "As long as we have this overly high minimum wage, there can be no normal competition here."

Germany is unusual in Western Europe in that it does not have an across-the-board minimum wage. Instead, the government can set minimum wages on a case-by-case basis for individual industry sectors. At the moment, only a few professions, such as builders, electricians and cleaners, benefit from a statutory minimum wage.

Shown above in an Associated Press photo, a demonstrator dressed as Santa Claus demands a minimum salary for postal workers.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:06 PM