News vom 11.12.2008
Austrian Post Supervisory Board Meeting Approves 2009 BudgetManagement joins forces with employee representatives on new postal market regulations
The Supervisory Board of Austrian Post approved the 2009 budget by a majority vote in a meeting held today.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that Austrian Post is well prepared for future competition. Agreement must be reached with political decision makers and employee representatives on a policy designed to sustainably safeguard the competitiveness of the company and preserve jobs even after the liberalization of the postal market takes effect”, said Peter Michaelis, Chairman of the state holding company ÖIAG and President of the Supervisory Board of Austrian Post. “The precise nature of this approach will largely depend on the regulatory framework which is to be developed and formulated over the next six months. On the basis of the future legal situation, the Management Board of Austrian Post will prepare a medium-term strategic plan by the summer of 2009, providing a more secure and stronger basis for the company to operate in the liberalized postal market of the future”.
Anton Wais, Chairman of the Management Board of Austrian Post, declared: “With the budget now allocated for the 2009 financial year, Austrian Post continues to be on the right track for fair competition rules and a level playing field on the postal market in 2011, ensuring that every customer has the same value and all consumers pay the same price for postal services. Next year there will neither be a wave of layoffs, nor will there be any reduction in services provided to the Austrian population. The company will already enter into negotiations with trade union officials next week in respect to all prospective restructuring measures in the light of their feasibility and cost effectiveness. Changes in the legal framework applying to the postal sector will have an impact on these talks and will be taken into account“.
Measures in detail for 2009
The budget was approved based on the assumption that Austrian Post Group revenues will increase in the year 2009, which will be primarily achieved as a consequence of expanding business in the newspaper delivery and advertising mail segments as well as for Premium Parcel services, which have already been successfully launched.
In order to generate cost savings, a majority vote of the Supervisory Board approved the process not to fill about 1,000 positions that will become vacant due to natural employee fluctuation (involving acceptance of a employees social plan). Moreover, 2009 will represent a year of cost savings in the central departments of Austrian Post, and a year of investments in existing locations and subsidiaries (i.e. logistics centres in Slovakia and Croatia as well as for meiller direct and trans-o-flex).
In recent years, Austrian Post and its employees have demonstrated a high level of flexibility in implementing required cost reduction measures. The restructuring programme being carried out in the parcels segment as well as in the mail sorting and delivery operations will enable Austrian Post to meet the future challenges posed by increasing competition – the goal is to reach cost parity.
The Management Board of Austrian Post made a proposal to the Supervisory Board calling for a precise formulation of the business strategy for the years 2010-2012 in the summer of 2009 – once the new legal regulations for the postal sector have been stipulated.
In determining the framework for the upcoming cooperation between the Management Board and the Central Works Council of Austrian Post, management and employee representatives have agreed to develop a joint approach, which must first be granted formal approval by the appropriate employee representative bodies. The main points encompassed in this common approach:
- The precise demands of Austrian Post in respect to the stipulations to be contained in a future postal market law, related changes to the universal service obligation and adequate financing to ensure obligatory nationwide postal delivery services will be defined by a joint working committee. Each of the two partners will do everything in its power to carry out a jointly defined implementation programme.
- The Central Works Council of Austrian Post (via the Union of Post and Telecommunications Employees) and the Management Board of Austrian Post (as a member of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce) will promote a jointly defined implementation programme to establish a collective wage agreement applying to the entire postal sector in Austria.
- The Management Board of Austrian Post and the Executive Committee of the Central Works Council express their commitment to working closely together in order to agree on any corporate measures affecting Austrian Post as a whole or any of its individual business areas, in accordance with the right to participation between the Central Works Council and the Management Board of Austrian Post, as stipulated in the Labour Relations Act (Arbeitsverfassungsgesetz ArbVG) and the Federal Act on the Postal Service Works Constitution (Post-Betriebsverfassungsgesetz PBVG).
- Management and employee representatives will jointly analyse alternatives to any potential post office shutdowns or the outsourcing of delivery and sorting services in the mail segment to private companies, in accordance with the Labour Relations Act, the Federal Act on the Postal Service Works Constitution and the 2009 budget for Austrian Post. This process will begin immediately, and is to be completed as soon as possible.
Mr. Marc Zimmermann
Head of Group Communications
Tel.: +43 (0) 57767 – 22626
Mr. Michael Homola
Tel.: +43 (0) 57767 – 32010
Mr. Harald Hagenauer
Head of Investor Relations
Tel.: +43 (0) 57767 – 30400
Vienna, December 11, 2008