October 4, 2017 / 12:13 PM / a year ago

Poste Italiane warns that parcel strike hitting it hard

ROME, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The head of one of Poste Italiane's parcel units warned of a devastating impact from a month-long strike by workers at some contractors that are crippling deliveries.

The Italian post office sees parcel delivery as a key business segment to support growth and its SDA Express Courier unit is one of the companies delivering parcels in Italy on behalf of e-commerce giant Amazon.

"Losing suddenly 50 percent of our volumes in nearly a month is devastating," SDA CEO Paolo Rangoni told a parliamentary committee. "The strike is affecting SDA's restructuring ... and even Poste's reputation is suffering."

Rangoni said Milan was the city most affected.

Workers in Italy's business capital have gone on strike as they have lost their job at a firm that used to be an SDA contractor and would be re-hired by another company on worse terms.

In Britain, Royal Mail workers have voted to strike in a dispute over changes to the pension scheme, threatening delays to the Christmas post.

Poste Italiane has been hurt by the substitution of traditional mail with digital communications and is aiming to offset the fall in letters with growth in its parcel business.

State-controlled Poste has a target of bringing its combined mail and parcel division to break even by 2019 as a part of a turnaround launched in 2015 when it was partly privatised. (Reporting by Massimiliano Di Giorgio; Writing by Francesca Landini; Editing by Keith Weir)

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