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Post Office to axe more jobs, say unions

More jobs are on the line, warn unions Keystone Archive

Unions have warned that an additional 1,500 Post Office jobs are at risk after the company unveiled new restructuring measures on Wednesday.

This content was published on January 21, 2004 - 16:45

Swiss Post, which last year announced around 3,000 job cuts, said it would try to limit further redundancies.

The Swiss Post Office also announced that the company’s collective labour contracts would have to be rewritten if it was to remain competitive in a liberalised market.

Trade unions - which are due to negotiate new contracts with Swiss Post in the coming months - reacted angrily to the news.

“Although the Post Office is the market leader, it is not in a position to find innovative solutions. That is not a success story by their management,” said Giorgio Pardini of the Communications Union.

Union fears

Trade union leaders warn that staff will be hit by a further 1,500 jobs cuts in addition to those announced last May.

“Together with the 2,400 or 2,500 jobs cuts, it will be a total of about 4,000 jobs,” said Pardini.

He added that staff should not have to pay with their jobs for the company’s modernisation plans.

Ulrich Gygi, head of the Post Office, said the company needed to make the cuts as the number of letters sent had dropped dramatically.

The restructuring will hit the mail, logistics and transport units, and post offices will be shut.

Gygi added that Swiss Post had no intention of cutting salaries in the upcoming contract negotiations.

Stiff competition

According to Rolf Hasler, head of personnel at Swiss Post, the company is at a disadvantage to many of its competitors, because staff get higher salaries and work shorter hours.

But unions say cutting jobs is not the answer.

“We expect the Post Office to come up with sustainable strategies for the future. As a market leader, they should be able to come up with forward-looking strategies,” said Pardini.

swissinfo

Key facts

Swiss Post has about 56,000 employees.
They handle about 17 million letters and 500,000 packages each day.
There are 2,921 post offices in Switzerland.

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