TNT makes urgent appeal to unions

Amsterdam - TNT is surprised and disappointed at the trade unions’ stance on the company’s collective labour agreement and social plan, as announced by the unions today. TNT sees no common ground whatsoever between the unions’ stance and the seriousness of the issues faced by TNT Post. Since 2007, the necessary cost savings have been extensively discussed with the unions. A recent study by research agency Ecorys, commissioned by the unions, reconfirmed that far-reaching cost measures are necessary to maintain the viability of the company.

TNT Post is facing serious challenges in the liberalised postal market, with price representing a decisive factor in a market that is free to make its own choices. Legal provisions are such that TNT Post is unable to lower its rates below cost price, which is largely determined by labour costs. The difference in wage costs, ranging from 23 euros per hour at TNT Post to 8 euros per hour at its competitors, means that TNT Post cannot simply make drastic cuts to its prices. As a consequence, from 1 January 2010 almost all Dutch radio and television guides, totalling over 100 million mail items, will be distributed by competitors of TNT Post. Recently, lower prices also led the government to contract the delivery of 70 million mail items to the competition. Moreover, postal volumes are witnessing a strong decline as customers increasingly switch to digital solutions.
The proposals put forward by the unions will force drastic and rapid reorganisations resulting in a few thousand compulsory redundancies. TNT has therefore called on the unions to reconsider their proposals. TNT’s Board of Management wishes to discuss the submitted proposals and their consequences with the unions’ chairpersons. Following this discussion, TNT will enter into negotiations with the unions whatever their proposal.
In recent years TNT has repeatedly stressed that it favours acceptable changes to the level of terms and conditions of employment in order to protect as many jobs as possible and be able to take on the competition.
TNT attaches great importance to providing clarity to its employees as soon as possible.
In the event of any conflict or discrepancy between this press release and the original Dutch version of this press release, the Dutch version prevails.