February 27, 2018 / 4:52 PM / a year ago

Wage talks for Deutsche Post workers make progress, sources say

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

MUCH, Germany (Reuters) - Wage talks for around 130,000 workers at the German postal group Deutsche Post (DPWGn.DE) are making progress but so far have fallen short of an agreement, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The talks between management and the trade union Verdi are continuing, they said.

The union has called for a meeting of its wage commission for Wednesday to discuss any wage agreement or further protests if talks should break down. It is seeking a 6 percent wage increase or more time off.

The negotiations in the northwestern German town of Much come after warning strikes last week [nL8N1QC1O0].

“Deutsche Post is swimming in money, but they expect employees to go empty-handed. Staff and Verdi will not accept that,” Anton Hirtreiter of Verdi in Bavaria said last week.

Strong economic growth and low unemployment in Germany is bolstering unions in their wage demands, with industrial union Earlier this month, the union IG Metall agreed a 4.3 percent raise and the right to shorter working hours [nL8N1PW1KH].

Deutsche Post DHL Group is targeting earnings before interest and tax of around 3.75 billion euros ($4.59 billion)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 Matthias Inverardi, writing by Tom Sims, editing by Larry King

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