Workers at the DHL hub in Leipzig wanted to reduce the standard weekly hours as a way of helping part time, as well as full time, workers.
The workers, members of the ver.di union wanted hours to be cut from 40 to 38.5 each week, but with full wage compensation.
Nearly 70 per cent of employees at the Leipzig hub are part-time. Working between 22 and 37.5 hours per week. A deal to cut the weekly hours would not alter their working week, but it would increase their hourly pay by 3.9 per cent.
On 2 February 2016, after six rounds of talks, ver.di and DHL management reached an agreement. The deal reduces the standard weekly hours to 38.5 hours in two stages. In the first stage, the working week reduces by one hour to 39 hours as of 1 October 2016. The second stage is a reduction to 38.5 hours from 1 January 2018.
In addition, workers at the Leipzig hub will get three one-off payments totalling EUR 1500 from March 2017 to July 2018, and a Christmas bonus (payment for a 13th month) was also introduced.
The reduction in weekly working hours also applies to the period of training for apprentices. The training allowances were also increased by an average of 3 per cent.
The agreement was enthusiastically adopted by members.
“This collective bargaining agreement is a step in the right direction. For part-time workers, the reduction in working hours with full wage compensation represents a 3.9 per cent increase. For full-time workers, the work load is significantly and sustainably reduced”, was the assessment of the collective bargaining agreement by Andrea Kocsis, Deputy Chair of ver.di.