Budget postal delivery firm Sandd is to take over its competitor SelektMail, boosting its market share to 16%.
SelektMail is part of Deutsche Post, and has market share of some 5%. Financial details were not disclosed.
Sandd, set up in 2001 to offer budget delivery to the corporate and junk mail sector, delivers some 450 million items a year and has a workforce of 14,000. It aims to use the takeover to expand to nationwide coverage and abroad, news agency ANP said.
The timing of the announcement is significant because it coincides with the government’s decision to give Sandd and SelektMail until April 1 to reach a deal with unions on introducing proper employment contracts for at least 80% of delivery workers.
At the moment, all but a tiny fraction of the company’s workforce is paid a few cents for each item they deliver and have no rights to sick or holiday pay or a company pension.
The companies argue they cannot afford to give staff proper contracts.
Postal workers unions welcomed the news of the takeover. ‘We hope the departure of the worst budget firm will lead an end to the price war on the postal delivery market,’ said FNV spokesman Peter Wiechmann in the Volkskrant.
Inge Bakker of the CNV public service union pointed out that Sandd has refused to pay proper wages to staff by pleading poverty but can afford to takeover SelektMail.
‘I do not want to hear that Sandd has put the last of its money into the takeover and now has no cash left to fund a pay deal,’ Wiechmann added.
The deal still has to be approved by the competition authority.
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