Disruption in first week of Deutsche Telekom strike

Striking Deutsche Telekom workers
Striking Deutsche Telekom workers

Labor union ver.di says that operations at Deutschen Telekom have been severely hampered after one week of strike.

Submitted by Ed on May 18, 2007

Ado Wilhelm, who is organizing the strike on behalf of ver.di, told heise online that service had been detrimentally affected. The protest is a reaction to the group's plans to outsource some 50,000 employees in the new T- Service division. Today, the labor union says that 7000 people went on strike across Germany. The protests are to continue through the weekend. On Friday afternoon, a demonstration is planned with ver.di's head Frank Bsirske in Munich.

Telekom confirmed that it was having trouble in operations. A spokesperson said that technical service was most affected. Telekom has planned to reduce its costs and improve service by laying off staff. The company plans to save up to 900 million euros annually. ver.di has rejected these plans, so Telekom says it will design the restructuring of T-Service alone.

The strike by 11,000 employees began last Friday in protest against the company's cost-cutting plans. Deutsche Telekom wants to move 50,000 staff at its troubled fixed-line unit T-Com to new service units that would extend work hours to 38 per week from 34 and gradually cut salaries by 9 percent.

The company spokesman said management was prepared to return to the negotiating table at any time but said the basis for talks would be the current proposal.

Deutsche Telekom wants to implement the move by July 1 and has said if it does not reach a compromise with union officials it will offer employees a move based on wage contracts at other units.

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