TNT, Mail Unions Reach Agreement, Avert Strike

TNT, Mail Unions Reach Agreement, Avert Strike

TNT, the Dutch post and express delivery company, reached agreement with unions over planned job cuts at its mail unit, averting a four day strike planned for next week.

The three unions representing postal workers will present the agreement to their members with a recommendation for acceptance and will not undertake any further industrial action, TNT said.

Mail workers have staged seven days of seven days of strike action over TNT's plan to lay off 11,000 staff, including 4,500 compulsory layoffs.

TNT agreed to reduce the number of forced layoffs to 2,800 by retraining 1,700 workers for other duties.

The layoffs are part of a restructuring of the mail unit in the face of lower postal volumes and postal liberalization which has increased competition from private operators.

The mail restructuring is part of a broader reorganization of TNT as it prepares to split its postal and express units effective January 1, 2011.

TNT plans to dispose of its profitable and fast growing express business in 2011. It will retain a 29.9 percent stake in the unit which has an 18 percent share of the European express market and was valued at around $8 billion by analysts earlier in the year.

UPS recently appeared to rule itself out of the bidding for TNT Express, saying it is targeting small to medium sized European acquisitions.

This leaves FedEx as the most frequently mentioned potential buyer of Europe's second largest express company after Germany's Deutsche Post DHL.

-- Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.