German Workers Fight For T-Mobile USA Employee’s Rights

Workers from ver.di, the German telecommunication works union came together during Deutsche Telekom’s annual shareholder meeting and demanded the company ensure that their American counterparts at T-Mobile USA receive the same rights as they do. Forming a human chain around the venue and releasing black balloons the workers showed a strong sign of solidarity with T-Mobile USA workers.

In Germany, DT recognizes the union and has a collective bargaining agreement with the workers. No such union exists at T-Mobile USA and workers are “constantly harassed by management” when conversations about forming a Union come up. The AFLCIO.org blog points out that T-Mobile has “implemented a company-wide strategy of refusing to recognize the workers’ choice of a union and collective bargaining rights.”

“Deutsche Telekom should change its behaviour in the United States as soon as possible. Its global standing is at stake and it should use this chance to improve its reputation,” said ver.di’s Ado Wilhelm.

Larry Cohen, President of the Communications Workers America stated:

T-Mobile workers must be allowed to choose a union, and the harassment must stop. We thank German workers for standing up for our rights.

AFL-CIO Blog

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  • alex

    props to the germans :)

  • Carms

    =’(

  • http://profiles.google.com/rkwhyte2 Kirby Whyte

    Well if they wait long enough and if they survive the cut they can be represented by the union the At&t folks have. I don’t remember the name of it right now. I can’t say that I’m what you would call pro union.

    • Joe

      It’s called CWA, Communication Workers of America. The didn’t only save jobs when people got ‘in trouble’, they also fought for fair wages and cost of living increases. I never had a need to use them when I worked for AT&T, but I appreciated them fighting to get pay increases for us.

      Like someone said before, T-Mobile treats their employees very well, pays them well too, and there’s really not a need to a union.

  • Anonymous

    Hell yeah! Those guys ROCK!

  • AndroTMO

    Sorry, but as a TMO US employee, I don’t want a Union. They will only make things worse.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ctkatz corey artis

      @5818613f4483a5a13c48ed62601a81b6:disqus
      how, pray tell, will they do that?

      • AndroTMO

        Unions will drive up costs for consumers, steal out of my pocket, and put companies out of business. Look at the auto companies.

        Before anyone says I am management, I am just a lowly rep.

        I am proud to live in a state that does not require union membership.

        There was a time for unions, but not anymore. Ask Boeing if they are going to hire more employees for the 787. The answer is no. They are not being allowed to build in another state.

        If I don’t like what my company is doing, I will find another job. My company doing business how it is allows our value pricing and decent subsidies. Those would shrink or disappear completely if we had a union.

        Unions are bad for the consumer. Therefore they are bad for me as an employee.

        • http://profiles.google.com/ctkatz corey artis

           

          so you say.  but HOW?  you say nothing at all of what a union would do to drive up costs.  and don’t bring up the auto companies.  i live in a state that has 3 auto plants within an hour of my house, 2 ford plants and one toyota (read NON UNION) plant.  toyota cars are just as expensive as what ford puts out, so forgive me if i call bullshit on that theory.  the reason for cars being so expensive has more to do with healthcare costs than it does anything about a union.  you don’t see anything wrong with canadian car plants or the cost of their cars now do you?

          you are also admitting that you have no problem at all for your employer firing you for no reason at all, with or without cause or any of your fellow customer reps as well.  there are reasons for unions to exist and they are there to protect the rights of all workers.  haven’t you been watching what has been going on in places like wisconsin?  no union means that management can set your pay rate at the federal minimum wage and you won’t have any recourse.  no union means that management can work you on unreasonable hours and you have no recourse.  no union means that you may not get a vacation during the year, so you would be at work for 52 weeks out of the year with no break and you have no recourse.  no union means that if this merger goes through, at&t does not have to hire any one of you and you would have no recourse.  the rights of unions matter and saying there shouldn’t be one because they will “steal money from your pocket” shows how ignorant you are regarding what a union actually does.  i support unions even though i am not in one, and at&t having their caller reps in a union is the only plus i can see about at&t.

        • AndroTMO

          The WSJ has a very good article today about how unions affect people and states. Can’t post the link because the box is not compatible with my tablet’s paste function.

        • Anonymous

          @5818613f4483a5a13c48ed62601a81b6:disqus 
          the wall street journal is a disgraceful rag that is a mouthpiece of rupert murdoch (ie: the paper version of faux news channel, which has been antiunion and misrepresented the positions of unions for years).  find another source, independent if you please. 

    • http://twitter.com/shinkinrui shinkinrui

      It’s amazing how a lot of people in America have allowed themselves to be brainwashed into thinking workers unions are a bad thing. Even to the point where they actually believe it’s BETTER for themselves as employees to not have any kind of collective bargaining rights.

      T-Mobile USA is an amazing company to work for. It’s hard to have complaints against a company that treats it’s employees as well as this company does. But stomping out efforts for a workers union is not doing that reputation any favors.

    • Johnny Wishbone

      A union really wouldn’t make things worse, especially if the merger/buyout gets approved. They’d pretty much make sure you still have a job if the buyout takes place or makes sure u get a decent buyout

    • Turtle6988

       The couple of AT&T people I have talked to have told me there is no employee pricing on phone plans and no handset discounts based on how long you have been with the company. Only management receives those deals. I am still undecided about a union, BUT if we were to go union my understanding is we could have these perks in our contract and AT&T would have to honor that contract.

    • Muxmarine

      ok sooo when your dumb ass gets laid off or fired you will be crying like a little baby wishing you had the backing of a union…youre just a fucking moron….see you on the unemployment line dummy… 

  • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

    that’s really amazing, its inspiring that those workers are fighting for rights for their brothers in a different country. Outstanding really is.

    • Muxmarine

      It is..I have personal knowledge of this entire campaign in Germany and it is very exciting…Im really speechless to see and hear about their support… Im glad someone on this blog is intelligent enough to understand that we must fight for what we need…never giving up untill we suceed…Thanks for your support Sparkling Cyanide…

  • jadam

    Unions lead to higher prices for the consumer, lower quality and fills the pockets of union leaders. There are many examples of this in the US. Just look at GM and the other auto companies.

    • turtle6988

      How is it a higher price to consumers? The employees pay the union not the company

      • AndroTMO

        Look at the absurd benefit packages union employees get. They are unsustainable.

        • Muxmarine

          WHY IS EVERYONE SOOO FUCKING JEALOUS OF THE BENIFITS UNION WORKERS HAVE GAINED BY FIGHTING FOR THEM…MAYBE YOU SHOULD ALL START FIGHTING FOR WHAT YOU WOULD WANT AND SHUT YOUR MOUTHS…ALL IM HEARING ON THIS BLOG ARE A BUNCH OF WHINNY, JEALOUS, IGNORANT PEOPLE… 

  • Jack

    Great. Then once the T-Mobile employees unionize, T-Mobile will have to raise their rates as high as AT&T’s to pay for it. No thanks.

    • Anonymous

       You do realize that the employees pay the unions right? The company (T-Mobile) wouldn’t have to raise any prices since they don’t pay a dime to unions. Whether I’m pro union or not at least I gather all of the facts before I make MY OWN decision on personal views rather than just disliking something because someone on TV or at school said to. By the way, if you work for a fair company that treats it’s employees well like T-Mobile there is no need for a union. When you work for a State, City or company like AT&T, being in a union is almost a must because the government and shady company’s will rake you over the coals every chance they get. on personal views rather than just disliking something because someone on TV or at school said to. By the way, if you work for a fair company that treats it’s employees well like T-Mobile there is no need for a union. When you work for a State, City or company like AT&T, being in a union is almost a must because the government and shady company’s will rake you over the coals every chance they get.

  • Bostonsnowfreak

    why exactly is a union a good thing for me? To be honest I don’t want a union. So they can make me pay a union due to back me for what? When I get in trouble, don’t need it. I work hard do my job, do what I’m asked, etc. If I screw up, I take my licks. Unions serve no other purpose other than to line their own pockets.

    there’s no harassment from my bosses, they simply say if I want to talk to a union person, I have to do it on my own time, out of the business.

    • Muxmarine

      WE WILL SEE WHAT YOU THINK ONCE THEY LAY YOUR DUMB ASS OFF PRE OR POST MERGER…WHY DO WE HAVE SUCH IGNORANT PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY???? 

  • Nick

    Yeah, that’s who I’m going to trust…the AFL-CIO. they have no agenda and always speak impartially.

    • Anonymous

      That is the reason why the AFL-CIO is pro-merger. Most of the T-mobile employees that go to AT&T would probably be coerced into joining the union. A lot more money and bargaining rights for the union.

      Unions have their place. They are needed for companies/industries where there are a lot of workers working in environments that aren’t too pleasant and not getting paid enough and the workers are easy to replace. Unions give these people better wages, working conditions, and job security.

      However, if Unions get to powerful and/or greedy (case & point – the autoworkers union for GM), they make it a lot harder to turn a profit because the workers get paid too much and/or have too many extravagant benefits.

      If the company is treating its employees well, a union isn’t needed.

      Kudos to the guys in Germany standing up for the Tmo USA employees.

      • turtle6988

        I have to work in the most dangerous parts of a major auto city that I will not name. I should get hazard pay

  • Edwards

    We do NOT need a union in the USA. Unions are only good for the lazy man….those that do their work do well. Those that surf the web and goof off want unions to protect them from being fired.

    • Jabombardier

      Not true. Unions are to make sure of fair wages and worker safety. Especially workers rights. It is true that some non unionized institutions don’t need a union because their workers are treated well, but that is not often the case. I see all the time that people let go, replaced, or fired over stupid things from non union jobs. And other places like I said before, like the Ikea plant in Virginia treat their workers unfairly, and pay the workers chump change to manufacture furniture parts. Cases like these is why a union is firmed or peoplestart unions. And they do work.

      • Edwards

        My father and brother both have worked, and currently work under labor unions and I see what they do. There are no safety issues, no wage issues, nothing we need protection from. Unions only take our money through dues, pad their union leader pockets and use money for political campaigns. I can spend my money better without the need for them to be reaching into my pockets. Germany can keep their unions and please don’t do us any favors.

        • Joe Blow

          Uh, how do you think all those problems (that you now say the dues are wasted on) got solved? Do you believe companies do the right thing because it is the right thing?

        • Bostonsnowfreak

          Not always, but why does RETAIL need a union. I’ve been working retail for over 14 years now, I’ve worked for 3 different companies now. All treated employees fairly. I can understand miners, trade workers, etc, but come on RETAIL???

        • turtle6988

          How about Field Techs and customer care, some of the things management does to me is rediculous.

        • Deff

          field tech? Wow.. I wonder if they teach you to use spellcheck… *cough* ridiculous *cough*

        • Muxmarine

          YEAH MORON THATS EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE CALLED…”FIELD TECHS” …THEY WORK IN THE ENGINEERING DEPT AND MAINTAIN THE CELL NETWORK…I REALLY WISH WE HAD INTELLIGENT ADULTS IN THIS COUNTRY…WTF… 

        • Deff

          Sorry for the late response but I think you misunderstood me. I simply thought it was ironic that he spelled *ridiculous* wrong when he is a field tech and should know a lot about technology and.. I dont know? Spell check? Calm yourself. By the way, I think your caps lock is on. Best regards.

        • Deff

          Sorry for the late response but I think you misunderstood me. I simply thought it was ironic that he spelled *ridiculous* wrong when he is a field tech and should know a lot about technology and.. I dont know? Spell check? Calm yourself. By the way, I think your caps lock is on. Best regards.

        • Deff

          Sorry for the late response but I think you misunderstood me. I simply thought it was ironic that he spelled *ridiculous* wrong when he is a field tech and should know a lot about technology and.. I dont know? Spell check? Calm yourself. By the way, I think your caps lock is on. Best regards.

    • Anonymous

       Edwards, I have to disagree with you about not needing unions in the USA. Some jobs do need to be unionized but most don’t. I do not think retail employees or employees that sit behind a desk all day need to be in a union. However, professional Firefighters and Police Officers need unions because of there odd work schedule’s, pensions that are owned by the firefighters and police, safety issues, working conditions and the fact that some city’s and some states will rake there employees over the coals at every chance they get. Case in point. Last year Baltimore City tried furloughing there Police and Fire Fighters 10 days. The unions fought with the city and got the furlough day knocked down to 5. If it weren’t for the unions, places like Baltimore City would be furloughing there employees in copious amounts just to fund there (Community Organization Projects). Projects).

    • Muxmarine

      AND AS SOON AS YOU GET FIRED OR LAID OFF YOURE CRYING CAUSE YOU WISH YOU WOULDVE HAD A VOICE AND A UNION…YOURE ALL A BUNCH OF FUCKING HIPOCRATES!!!!! 

      • TDl

        If you don’t want to worry about getting fired, then start your own business.  It’s the lazy people who join unions.   It’s the unions who destroy jobs.  It’s unions that bankrupt companies.  Well no more!

    • Flank217

      and you are obviously uneducated…you ignorant prick.

    • Flank217

      and you are obviously uneducated…you ignorant prick.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your support Germany. And I love what your doing with your cars!

  • http://micronokiadev.wordpress.com/ bluechrism

    Just want to add that union’s may be organized very differently in Germany to how they are in the US. I know there are certainly big differences between the US and unions in the UK.

    T-Mobile should make sure through-out the deal with AT&T it’s workers rights are protected and it’s workers are treated well. It’s a great gesture that the german workers have made.

  • Terry

    T-Mobile is consistently voted, by employees, as a best place to work. CWA is a sham, compare T-Mobile pay and benefits to at&t pay and benefits. This is probably why at&t consistently ranks worst among customer service rankings. No one is held accountable, the union allows complacency.

    • Bostonsnowfreak

      Unions were started for the benefit and fair treatment of workers. But they have falling a long way from their roots.

    • Anonymous

      Gee… are you the company HR manager?

      • SickOfThis

        That’s what I was thinking as well… Maybe five years ago T-mobile was a great place to work, but it’s become a fucking nightmare… constantly changing stats, constantly added responsibilities with no compensation, less time on calls to do EVERYTHING, disappearing bonuses, dubious record-keeping, cloudy expectations and of course SELL SELL SELL!!!! … 

        I work in a call center where it has become common-place to see coworkers being wheeled on EMT stretchers, seasoned workers who’ve dedicated years of their lives to living the “T-mobile Values” and giving the absolute best customer service, only to find themselves constantly pushed and pressured to the point that they either collapse from the strain or just walk out the door. Not to mention the very real concerted effort to fire as many of us as possible… We are being set up to fail in so many ways and it’s all pointed toward downsizing through “Natural Attrition”…

        T-mobile can say they are just fine with us organizing a union and are not hindering it anyway, but we just don’t want it… but that is bullshit… I have been actively working to unionize, but the biggest roadblock I’ve hit so far is my coworkers are TERRIFIED of even being over-heard saying the “U-word”… but I’ve been seeing a change in attitude lately, everyone is becoming more afraid of being fired for bullshit reasons than they are of being fired for trying to unionize.. Right now EVERY SINGLE ONE of our asses is out and exposed to the elements, and if getting a union can offer us even the slightest amount of protection, we need to get it going NOW.

        • Vincent

          I worked in the call center for  a year and a half and I worked with people that were ther for seven years, once the stats constantly started changing the veterans had trouble keeping up. It was T-mobiles way of trying to fire people and re-hire for a lot less. It created a horrible environment to work, which is why I switched over to sales. But I agree with you, T-mobile has started becoming very dictatorial and workers have no imput on the stats that are realistic to the scope of support T-Mobile is expecting.  

        • BigDaddy

           I used to work at T-Mobile and saw the EMT, but I can’t take it a face value that some of those might just want to have a couple days off. In regards to having more responsibilities and no compensation….I have never been hired at a job where they automatically offer you more compensation for assuming additional responsibilities.

          Your getting more responsibilities more than likely because one of your peers isn’t pulling their weight – happens a lot at call centers.

          disappearing bonuses – well Webster’s definition “something in addition to what is expected or strictly due”
          A bonus as a form of compensation is NOT a right, and is something that is discretionary by management.

          Sounds like you want a Union so that you can be guaranteed a job. No one should be guaranteed a job because it leads to complacency and poor performance in the long run.

          Stop whining and get another job if your not happy.

          I bet all you do all day at work is sit and gossip between calls, in the hallway, in the break room at lunch about how you don’t get what you deserve and spreading poor morale instead of utilizing that time effeciently to earn what you deserve instead of having it “guaranteed.”

          Yes, I worked for TMO for 7.5 years and left on my own accord when I saw that it was the time for me.

          Stop spreading poor attitude and go work for the government.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=212404024 Randy Augustus

             SickOfThis: You sir/madam are right. Which is why I quit after 8 months.

          I use to have to sike myself into going into work everyday. I had headaches all the time, I slept 9+ hours a night. It was horrible. Towards the end, I wanted to speak with my “coach” and “senior” …. neither of them wanted to talk to them despite my repeated attempts…I’m sure they don’t miss me, and I don’t miss them…

        • QuitThen

          why do you still work there then? hmmmm 

    • Sap181

      Best place to work? Who votes senior VPs?

      • guest

        Yes. Best place to work and we enjoy it. Without a union there can be accountability. With a union… we’re not #1.

    • turtle6988

      I am a T-mobile employee, I have not talked to a person fron ATT with the same jobs as me but from what I hear the benefits are worse but the pay is better

  • http://twitter.com/iGNetworks iGNetworks

    Well if this deal gets approved do you not know what always happens. AT&T will lay off many of the workers to make a profit off this deal. Many centers will be closed.

    • Turtle6988

      I am a T-mobile employee. If they lay me off in the first year after the deal closes I get a $23,000 severence package. but if they fire me after one year I get NOTHING

      • jamonlee

        You must not have gotten the updated version.  It got cut in half or for some down to a third of the initial projection because of a “miss calculation”

        • Turtle6988

           I checked it again after that e-mail and mine has not changed.

      • Down with the BORG

        Taxed at 40% 

      • Down with the BORG

        Taxed at 40% 

      • Down with the BORG

        Taxed at 40% 

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s really up to the workers collectively to decide if they want to unionize … or not. Unions on their own aren’t a bad thing and they typically don’t get voted in without a fairly good reason in my opinion.

    I have worked in a union environment as a union member, a non-union supervisor and having been on both sides I can see both sides.

    The important thing is the worker has a say in it.

    • http://twitter.com/iGNetworks iGNetworks

      Workers won’t have a choice because they will almost all be laid off by AT&T. Everything that AT&T is saying is a lie to just get the deal passed.

      • SickOfThis

         We’ll get laid off faster if we aren’t union.. CWA wants members, and if we aren’t unionized, ATT will go for the path of least resistance… which the non-union workers…

  • 4G_or_not_4G

     LUV those Europeans:)

  • TDl

    The unions have bankrupted and destroyed America.  The people will not stand for them anymore.   So tell those German Union Nazis to get lost!

    • Anonymous

      You got that right! 

  • blah.

    “_______, why didn’t you make an offer to a customer on that call?”
    “Because they had four lines and were paying 300 bucks a month, Justin! They don’t need anything else, plus, my MRC (Monthly Recurring Charges, one of our stats we’re rated on) is at, like, 150 bucks today (three times my call centers business standard), and we’re only three ours into our eight hour shift!”
    “You need to make an offer on every call. I don’t care how good you’re doing, or how good you do every day. Every call.”

    You know why Tmob gets rated best place to work by employees? Because we an awesome pay rate. But at my previous jobs, I have NEVER gotten in trouble for meeting my minimum business standard and choosing one call with a poor old lady to not offer her a $60 web feature.

    I blank my name out because I fear my supervisors troll this site as well and I will face hell for being one that exposes what it really is like behind the scenes. Half of the customer service reps you’re yelling at are already on the verge of tears because we get hit so hard, metaphorically, for doing the best we can.

    At least 2/3 of the reps are on medical leave for anxiety problems caused by our lethal coachings for being 10 seconds over our 360 second average limit for phone calls.

    I don’t know about the rest of the employees that write on here, but myself? I can’t troubleshoot your phone, credit your bill, order a new device, make an offer and listen to you tell me about your life all in six minutes.