In spite of the market in crisis, a revolution is taking place worldwide in the express deliveries sector:

UPS buys TNT Express


It has just been announced that UPS has bought up TNT (5.16 bn euro in cash). TNT is the fourth company in the world for express deliveries. While the bosses play at Monopoly, we, the driving force of these multinationals, know perfectly well that these takeovers operations will not leave us unconcerned. The workers are unlikely to remember it as a “great day”, in spite of the claims by the heads of the two companies at the joint UPS-TNT press conference on March 19..


The “market” of the Oligopolies


Ø What has happened is that the larger of the businesses (UPS), with greater potential and more money in it coffers, has bought up the smaller one, which was in trouble (TNT): 

On the one hand, UPS rakes in massive profits for the fourth quarter (2011): “record results, in terms of volumes, earnings and profitability”, a 21% increase over the previous year. “The total earnings have grown by 6% to reach 14.2 billion dollars and the working profit has increased by 17% to over 2 billion dollars”.

On the other hand TNT, in spite of the growth of 2.2% growth on the market last year, has for years declared difficulties and losses, the latest being 173 m euro in the last quarter of 2011. To resist the assault of other companies they would have had to go without possible dividends ... so they decided it was better to pocket the cash than invest...


Effects on the sector

Ø The transport and express delivery sector will be dominated by 3 multinationals (Ups-DHL-FedEx) 

Ø Following the exposure of the “secret” cartel which agreed prices to the detriment of customers, leading to an enormous fine (169 billion euro) imposed by the EU on 14 companies in the sector, in the coming period we’ll see increasing competition in the growth economic areas (Bric countries - Asia – Oceania), while in Europe we’ll probably see a violent clash because UPS, by acquiring TNT, has reached a market share of 17.3%, similar to DHL’s 17.6%. The problem is that Europe, a strategic area for profits, is also an economic area in a serious crisis, so that the major companies will not be able to sort out the competition just through confidential meetings at London’s “Mamma mia restaurant.


UPS declares that the turnover that will be produced is estimated at $60 billion, making it a powerful company!

But what interests the workers is WHO will pay for this war for a monopoly position.

The multinational’s aims are quite clear:

Ø UPS believes it can finance this investment by capitalizing the enormous savings gained on our backs in terms of wages, lowering of pension and health contribution, continuous delocalization etc., in general by exploiting direct and indirect labour.

·         UPS-USA is saving billions by lower payments to the pension fund, causing a reduction of 30-40% in the pensions of the American “browns


·         Cost savings will be primarily found in intra-national delivery services, combining the two air networks, and in administration and procurement.” Kurt Kuehn, UPS C.F.O.:


·         They will try to carry out the classic policy of eliminating overlaps (i.e. redundancies)

The cuts will begin from the European headquarters and will go on from there to hit all the national HQs,  first of all the Hubs.  europe-1-.html

·         There is greater clarity in the foreign press as to the countries involved: The companies face the biggest overlaps in the U.K. and to a lesser extent in the Benelux and Italy ... But in the end it will all depend on how regulators define the market."


The strategy for selection of staff is also clear: …” the selection and appointment of staff for any function within the newly combined entity, will be ... based on the “best person for the job” principle. In case of potential consequences for employees of the combination, the principle of fairness will be applied as to the impact of redundancies on TNT Express and UPS staff” =


Workers, their interests are different from ours!

They want a war between workers, they want us to live in fear about an uncertain future. They are already beginning to circulate news of thousands of redundancies (20,000)


Only unity between UPS and TNT workers, direct and indirect, can help us to best defend our common interests, the right to work and a fair wage.

As the UPS trade union representation body we believe the role of national and international unions to be decisive. For over a decade we have been demanding the right to have union representation, chosen by the workers, in international bodies. Now is the time to build it, as we believe that global representation, acting in the name and on behalf of the workers, is our only strength and the only guarantee for defending our interests.


We invite workers and delegates, the union organizations, to build joint UPS-TNT committees locally, regionally and nationally. 


There’s no shortage of experience. In August 1997 the UPS workers blocked the USA for two weeks, with international support, and won! This was the first union victory after the defeats of the 1980s, a victory that brought about substantial improvements for UPS workers and for the entire category, in work, rights, wages and pensions. The Teamsters showed the way, we must take it up.

Milan, April 10, 2012


RSU (union representation body) UPS MILAN and VIMODRONE (Italy)

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