175 years in the service of attractive working conditions

  • 2023

    One of the largest employers in Switzerland

    Swiss Post is one of Switzerland’s largest employers. Around one in 110 people in employment in Switzerland work for Swiss Post, with more than a third in peripheral areas. Swiss Post not only offers more than 100 different professional profiles with varied responsibilities, but also provides an appreciative working environment, modern employment conditions and exciting opportunities for further development. Swiss Post also trains over 2,000 apprentices annually in 19 professions.

    Mail carrier with parcel and dog
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  • 2010

    Standardized redundancy plan

    Swiss Post and the trade unions agree on a standardized redundancy plan, to be used for all future organisational changes.

    Two people shake hands.
  • 2002

    Swiss Post pension fund

    The Swiss Post pension fund begins. Assets and liabilities are transferred from the Federal Pension Fund.

    Grandparents watch a girl playing with chalk
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  • 2002

    CEC for Swiss Post staff

    After almost two years of intensive negotiations between Swiss Post and the trade unions/staff associations, the Swiss Post collective employment contract (CEC) is signed and implemented on 1 January 2002. Prior to this, employment conditions for Swiss Post staff had been governed by the Swiss civil service code (Beamtengesetz (BtG)).

    Employees sort mail in the Zurich Sihlpost Swiss Post building. Source: Michael Freisager (photographer) / Museum of Communication
  • 1997

    BIGA apprenticeships

    Swiss Post offers apprenticeships that are recognized by BIGA, the Federal Office for Industry and Labour during this period. The monopoly apprenticeships come to an end.

    Guidelines for BIGA apprenticeships as IT technician
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  • 1986

    Introduction of 42-hour working week

    The number of weekly working hours for Swiss Post employees is reduced by two, from 44 to 42 hours.

    Mail carrier delivering parcels, 1985
  • 1977

    Cashless payment of wages and salaries

    The PTT now transfers its employees’ wages and salaries to an account.

    Extract from the minutes of the 1972 General Management meeting
  • 1972 to 1974

    Management careers open to women

    A management career at Swiss Post is now also open to women. From 1973, women are officially allowed to work as “uniformed” mail carriers. In 1974, the first women start work at the male-dominated Railway Mail Service, which is seen as the PTT’s training ground for new managers.

    Anna Nater, the first woman at the Railway Mail Service. Source: Museum of Communication
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  • 1971

    Staff shortages

    As a result of staff shortages, branches in cities are forced to close during the holiday season. Swiss Post responds by making increased use of foreign workers and women to help with deliveries.

    Sihlpost Christmas service, 1972
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  • 1964

    Change in sorting

    The introduction of postcodes simplifies sorting work, which no longer requires special training. Swiss Post employs women and foreign workers as a form of “inexpensive” labour.

    Female employees of Swiss Post, 1964
  • From 1927

    Sub-postmasters held in high esteem

    Following the introduction of the Swiss civil service code (BtG) in 1927, the status of sub-postmasters continues to rise. To hold this office, candidates must be of good repute, must pass tests and must be married. The men are supported in the background by their wives.

    Title page of the 1926 service regulations for post offices.
  • 1890

    PTT Union/trade union

    As early as the 1890s, local organizations of postal and telecommunications staff form central associations to bring together workers, salaried employee and civil servants across status boundaries. From 2011, the media and communications trade union syndicom protects the interests of Swiss Post employees with a collective employment contract (CEC).

    “PTT Union” – Your PTT union advertising sticker.
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  • 1850

    One of the largest employers in Switzerland

    Swiss Post begins with 2,803 employees, making it one of Switzerland’s largest employers. When the Confederation takes over postal services in 1849, it regulates employment conditions for employees, such as their term of office or grounds for dismissal. Swiss Post employees are federal civil servants. Anyone looking to become a postmaster must first provide a guarantee.

    Overview of headcount 1865-1930
  • 1849

    Central bathing facilities

    Employees can make use of central bathing facilities in post offices.

    Two vouchers for bathing facilities

The story continues
More journeys back in time

Rich Content Section

Image sources:

2002: Employees sort mail in the Zurich Sihlpost Swiss Post building, Michael Freisager (Fotograf), Museum of Communication, Bern.

1997: Guidelines for BIGA apprenticeships as IT technician, 1997, PTT Archive, Köniz.

1986: Mail carrier delivering parcels, 1985, ETH Library Zurich, image archive.

1977: Extract from the minutes of the GM meeting, 1972, PTT Archive, Köniz.

1972-74: Anna Nater, the first woman at the Railway Mail Service,  Museum of Communication, Bern.

1971: Sihlpost Christmas service, 1972, ETH Library Zurich, image archive.

1964: Swiss Post employees, 1964, PTT Archive, Köniz.

From 1927: Service regulations for post offices, 1926, PTT Archive, Köniz.

1890: PTT Union decal, Swiss Social Archive, Zurich.

1850: Headcount 1865-1930, PTT Archive, Köniz.

From 1849: Vouchers for bathing facilities, PTT Archive, Köniz.