Thursday, April 8, 2010

Unions See Double Standard with T-Mobile USA

ver.di, the union representing workers at Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile operations in Germany, the Communications Workers of America and UNI Global Union held a press conference to denounce a double standard they see in the way the Deutsche Telekom treats its Germany and American workers. Specifically, the unions accuse T-Mobile USA of engaging in an anti-union behavior.

Lothar Schröder, an executive board member of ver.di, pointed out that "in Germany and many countries, DT complies with its Social Charter which directs the company to adhere to internationally recognized norms, directives and standards. DT also respects the human rights standards of the International Labor Organization and upholds the labor principles of the United Nations Global Compact regarding freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

"But when it comes to U.S. operations, which employs about 40,000 workers and produces about 25 percent of DT's revenue, DT's Social Charter is no where to be found," Schroeder said.

UNI, CWA and ver.di are pressing DT for a global agreement that would protect the fundamental labour rights of the company's workers worldwide. CWA and ver.di formed TU last November.

Marcus Courtney, head of UNI Telecom, noted that "France Telecom and Telefonica have signed global agreements with UNI respecting workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively. Deutsche Telekom is failing to meet standards set by its competition."http://cwa-union.org

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