German union represents US workers at T-Mobile - November 19, 2009

In a watershed agreement German and American trade unions have decided to work together to push for collective bargaining at T-Mobile in a special alliance. The agreement between the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the German union for telecommunication workers Ver.di was announced on Wednesday 18 November in Washington. Both unions will take part in a new union TU, a union for T-Mobile workers. 

Ver.di will represent the T-Mobile employees in the US and the CWA in negotiations with Deutsche Telekom, the corporate mothership of T-Mobile. 

CWA has been unable to unionize T-Mobile workers, because of stiff opposition by the company, it said at the press conference.

From a report of the AFL-CIO blog:

T-Mobile routinely uses illegal or unethical practices to thwart workers’ desire for a union, including mandatory anti-union meetings and one-on-one meetings between workers and supervisors, said Adrienne Eaton, a professor at Rutgers University, who presented a report on Deutsche Telekom’s labor practices in the United States.
[CWA-president] Cohen said the U.S. standard of living is shrinking due in large part to the aggressive union-busting tactics of companies like T-Mobile. He said workers are tired of the two faces of T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom—the smiling face that gives workers real rights [in Europe] and the “club of intolerance” in the United States, where they fight against workers.

Labor relations in Germany a distinctively different, said Aldo Wilhelm, who is the Ver.di employee representative on T-Mobile's supervisory board, where workers' rights are respected and collective bargaining is common practice. 

Neither T-Mobile nor Deutsche Telecom did give a reaction.

 

Other reports on the T-Mobile union 

Reuters 

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