A politician in Germany recently lamented the fact that his country is now being seen as the strike center of Europe, far worse than Italy and France where strikes are a set and permanent part of the negotiation process. The latest strike to hit us is that of postal workers, who are claiming a right to higher pay by using their legitimate right to strike.
A strike, however, is not just a strike, there are small facets which only gradually come to light, which tend to be hidden from view by those – on one side or the other – who do not want their position to be made any worse than it already is. One of these is that not every postal worker is on strike, whether as a matter of freewill or not, since many are civil servants, back from the days when the postal service was government-owned, and are legally bound not to strike. Then there are those who are employed by the post office, but do not work for the post office; they work in smaller companies as a cheap version of the big picture.
Photo Source: J. Triepke – Creative Commons
And then there are those who are sent out to the sorting and distribution centers to find certain packages and ensure that they are delivered, such as those from Amazon. The German post is contractually bound to provide a delivery service, and clearly the possibility of a strike, a prevention by union action, is not within that contract.
Other companies, and most certainly private people, are not quite so lucky. They have to trust that their post will hit the right center, where people are working, or that there will be a worker who is prepared – or must – handle their delivery from one of the other companies. That is the way it is for me at the moment: I receive an order for a book and am bound to send it out, but cannot guarantee that it will get to its destination within a reasonable period of time.
This time factor is a great worry for some companies who are bound by time limits. A medical educational firm, which specializes in organizing exchange programs around the world, has applied for an injunction against both the post office and the union to ensure that their application forms are delivered, otherwise many students will not gain their places in the program and lose a great deal of educational experience as a result. As I understand it, the courts have granted the injunction, the post office must deliver these packages and letters.
The injunction is a written order, a verbal one is not legally binding in Germany, and, as such, has to be delivered to the post office. The court has, therefore, put the injunction in an envelope and stuck it in the post….
Love & Kisses, Viki.