Postal workers in Germany carried out a second day of strikes in several regions Thursday, their trade union said, stranding millions of letters and thousands of packages.
Ahead of the long Easter holiday weekend, the Verdi services union called industrial action in Berlin and the surrounding region of Brandenburg, as well as the western states of Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland.
Verdi is seeking a reduction of working hours for 140,000 Deutsche Post employees to 36 hours per week from 38.5 hours currently, at the same salary.
It also opposes Deutsche Post plans to shift around 20,000 parcel delivery staff to contracts covered by logistics sector wage agreements.
Verdi said 10,000 employees took part in the strike Thursday, but Deutsche Post put the figure at 5,000, which it said held up 4.8 million letters and 240,000 packages. They will be delivered on Saturday.
On the first day of the work stoppage on Wednesday, 10,000 postal workers according to Verdi and 7,500 according to Deutsche Post joined the strike, hindering the delivery of six million letters and 300,000 parcels.
"That sends a clear message from the staff: the Post management must live up to its responsibilities and present a serious offer at the next round of negotiations on April 14," the union's deputy chief Andrea Kocsis said in a statement.
She said Verdi would not hold further work stoppages before those talks.
Deutsche Post's shares gained 0.10 percent to 29.15 euros by around 1200 GMT Thursday.