TNT, the Dutch postal and express group, Nov. 8 rebuffed an ultimatum it dubbed irresponsible by labor unions for cuts in planned layoffs.
The move courts strike action that threatens to derail restructuring of its mail operations ahead of a likely sale.
TNT said it could only make further changes to its restructuring if unions accepted lower wages for their members.
By The Numbers: European Airlines' Freight Traffic.
TNT offered to reduce forced layoffs at its mail unit by 1,400 from an originally planned 4,500 but this was rejected by three unions representing postal workers.
The unions had warned they would stage a 24 hour strike on November 16 if TNT did not scale back the number of involuntary layoffs.
TNT is seeking a total of 11,000 job cuts as it prepares to separate its mail and express units ahead of their sale.
TNT says it must streamline its mail unit in response to steadily declining volume. It forecast traffic in 2010 will decline between 8 percent and 9 percent from last year.
The express unit, by contrast, is growing rapidly with third quarter volume increasing 9.8 percent, revenue climbing 8.2 percent to $2.2 billion and operating income rising to $103 million from $95 million in the same period in 2009.
-- Contact Bruce Barnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.