Swiss Post said today its Direct Mail Company has stepped in to take over the delivery operations of a Berne-based direct marketing company.
AWZ AG had made the decision to close down its delivery services for commercial reasons from March 1, but now the operations will transfer to the Swiss Post subsidiary, which has been a long-standing business partner.
Swiss Post said AWZ had around 1,500 employees involved in its delivery activities, who will continue their employment under the mantle of the Direct Mail Company.
Any existing delivery contracts with AMZ customers will also transfer to Swiss Post from next month, as will any facilities required for delivery operations.
Swiss Post said in a statement: “In light of the economic situation and the market prospects, the board of directors of AWZ AG has decided that the company will terminate its activity in the field of deliveries on 1 March 2012. The delivery operations of AWZ AG will be taken over by Direct Mail Company AG.”
AWG operates in the Berne, Aagau/Solothurn, Zug and Ticino areas of Switzerland.
The company confirmed that its delivery operations would transfer to Swiss Post, but that it would be keeping its addressed direct marketing business, production facility and other non-delivery activities.
AWG confirmed that its employees would remain on their current delivery routes, and that all contracts would be run by Direct Mail Company according to the same standards, though not under the AWG brand or that of its subsidiary ADF.
“The acquisition has no direct effect on customers, partners or employees of the AWG Group and the Direct Mail Group,” the company said in a statement.
For Swiss Post, the takeover marks the first expansion of its Direct Mail Company since the postal operator bought out the stake of its joint-venture partner Epsilon SA in the company in January, having held a 50% stake since 1996. Epsilon SA itself is two-thirds owned by Swiss Post.
The postal service said at the time it intended to continue operating DMC as an independent unit, and that its investment in the organisation was about reinforcing the potential of the direct marketing market.
In recent years, Swiss Post has been steadily building its presence in the delivery market outside its reserved area, including direct mail and periodicals delivery. It has taken over delivery services from companies including NZZ Group and Tamedia as well as Epsilon SA AG and DMC, to add to its Presto AG early morning delivery subsidiary.
Swiss union Syndicom called on the Post today to enter into collective bargaining negotiations for the 1,500 staff being taken on by Direct Mail Company.
“The unions have a collective bargaining agreement with the Post for Presto AG. Syndicom now urges the Post to act as a social organisation and take up union negotiations as soon as possible. This will be necessary to prevent the same kind of conditions seen within delivery in the rest of Europe,” the union said.
Source: Post&Parcel/Swiss Post/AWG/Syndicom