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Licensed post offices and Australia Post may collectively bargain

The ACCC has granted authorisation to the Licensed Post Office Group Ltd (LPO Group) and its current and future licensed post office members to collectively negotiate with Australia Post.

LPO Group and its members sought authorisation from the ACCC to collectively negotiate and enter into a new agreement with Australia Post, or to vary agreements already in place for the provision of postal and distribution services by Licensed Post Offices (LPOs).

LPO Group currently has 870 members and will represent 525 of these financial members in negotiations with Australia Post.  Australia Post currently has a total network of 2881 licensed post offices.

“The ACCC decided  that collective negotiation is likely to lead to public benefits, such as cost savings and greater LPO input from having a single negotiation process for all members, instead of individual discussions,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

“It is voluntary to participate in the proposed collective negotiations and each LPO Group member and Australia Post can decide whether they would benefit from such negotiations.”

Under the proposed arrangements, LPO Group members who have opted-in to the collective bargaining group will agree not to negotiate with Australia Post on an individual basis during periods of collective negotiations with Australia Post.

Authorisation does not extend to any collective boycott of Australia Post products or services supplied by LPOs.

“These voluntary collective negotiations are unlikely to result in significant public detriment, as competition between licensed post offices is limited. LPO Group members are free to leave the bargaining group or choose to negotiate individually with Australia Post at any time,” Dr Schaper said.

It is not a condition of LPO Group membership that members join the collective bargaining group, and LPO Group members are not prevented from also joining other industry representative groups.

Further information, including the draft decision, is available from the ACCC’s Authorisations public register.