CWA: Deutsche Telekom faces rising pressure over T-Mobile misconduct

WASHINGTON (PAI) – Deutsche Telekom, the parent firm of U.S. mobile phone firm T-Mobile, faces rising external pressure from investors and lawmakers over T-Mobile’s refusal to respect U.S. workers’ rights, the Communications Workers report.

Not only are CWA and other unions – including ver.di [The name ver.di stands for Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft – United Services Trade Union], the union that represents DT’s workers – demanding that DT force its U.S. T-Mobile managers to change and obey U.S. labor law, but so are U.S. lawmakers and major investors, CWA adds.

Latest to raise questions and demand T-Mobile follow the law are pension fund managers APG Asset Management and Norges Bank Investment Management. The latter “sovereign wealth fund,” run by Norway’s central bank, is DT’s fourth-largest shareholder.

APG demanded DT respond to National Labor Relations Board rulings that found T-Mobile broke labor law while opposing CWA’s long-running organizing drive among T-Mobile workers, especially call center workers.

Twenty U.S. lawmakers raised the same NLRB violations issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in early January. Her government is the largest DT shareholder, with 30 percent of its stock. Last November, another 25 U.S. female lawmakers wrote to Merkel, telling her of sexual harassment by T-Mobile managers as part of the firm’s anti-union campaign.

“Your government has the ability to work to reform policies that are harming the employees of T-Mobile,” their letter, authored by Reps. Betty McCollum, DFL-Minn., and Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said. One big problem: A “non-disclosure agreement” that T-Mobile forces workers to sign. A federal judge tossed the non-disclosure agreement, but only for T-Mobile call centers in Maine and South Carolina.

“A worker should not have to risk his or her job while enduring months of legal actions to have unlawful policies repealed state by state,” their letter to Merkel added.

Photo: CWA.




Press Associates Union News Service provides national coverage of news affecting workers, including activism, politics, economics, legislation in Congress and actions by the White House, federal agencies and the courts that affect working people. Mark Gruenberg is Editor in chief and owner of Press Associates Union News Service, Washington, D.C.