Monday, October 23, 2006

Deutsche Telekom Forms T-Service Unit, Consolidating Customer Support

Deutsche Telekom announced the formation of a new "T-Service" business unit that will handle all customer service functions, including call centers and T-Punkt outlets. Deutsche Telekom will be hiring around 4,000 additional people, and around 35,000 employees will be added from T-Com.

"We expect the unions to work with us," stated Heinz Klinkhammer, Chief Human Resources Officer of Deutsche Telekom. Under the current framework conditions, such as the rapid pace of technological change, the expansion of regulation and the disproportionately high costs of labor, it is not economically viable to continue employing the same number of people at the same conditions in Germany in future. In the field of customer service and call centers, for example, market remuneration is between 30 and 50 percent below the salaries Deutsche Telekom pays. "We can only safeguard these jobs in the long term if we succeed in consistently aligning our employment and remuneration structures with the market," said Klinkhammer and appealed to the unions to support the plans.

Deutsche Telekom is also seeking to increase the number of weekly working hours.

The previously announced cuts of 32,000 jobs by 2008, which Deutsche Telekom is implementing without compulsory redundancies at a cost of more than EUR 3 billion, remain unaffected by these discussions.

  • In November 2005, Deutsche Telekom announced a major staff reduction program that will see employment levels fall by 32,000 workers in Germany over the next three years. This includes about 7,000 employees whose positions will be outsourced from DT subsidiary Vivento on a permanent basis. These employees will no longer work for Deutsche Telekom, but for other companies. One example of this are the Vivento Call Centers. While a further 25,000 employees are to leave the Group, around 6,000 new staff are to be employed. The new positions might include young technical staff and trainees for T-Punkt shops. This would put the net reduction of jobs over the next three years at 19,000. A majority of the cuts were expected to occur at T-COM, where some 20,000 jobs will be cut as part of the company's "Simplicity" project. Other cuts will include 1,500 in the Group's centralized functions and 5,500 at T-Systems. However, 5,000 jobs will be created for the rollout of the company's fiber-optic network.

See also