Socialist Worker

T-Mobile still won’t talk to communication workers

by Nick Childs, CWU organiser
Issue No. 1943

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have condemned phone giant T-Mobile for its continued refusal to negotiate with or recognise their union.

T-Mobile recently announced that one in eight of its UK staff will be made redundant or have their jobs outsourced. The company is discussing about redundancies with unions across its European operations, but not in the UK. The job cuts are part of a restructuring by parent company Deutsche Telekom that will see a total loss of 2,200 jobs across Europe.

Some 800 staff in the UK will be hit by the cutbacks that will occur over the next two years — including compulsory redundancies. The job cuts are being made in spite of Deutsche Telekom announcing £2.2 billion profits last year, representing 4 percent annual growth.

The union has launched a high profile campaign, including leafleting, and is holding meetings at all T-Mobile’s UK sites. It has also launched an online “cyber picket” to place pressure on UK management.

Members are calling on the company to recognise the CWU, give assurances that there will be no compulsory redundancies, and affirm that their pensions would be protected if they were transferred to another company.

T-Mobile has followed recent business trends of locating many of their call centres in areas of high unemployment and low wages.

It will be the ordinary hard working members and their families who will suffer from these cuts. The senior executives will all be given their golden goodbyes — and they will be able to move on to high paid jobs elsewhere.

T-Mobile UK is notorious for its anti-union activities. It has used management intimidation — and even employed US union busting companies — to thwart union recognition and attempt to break the workers’ struggle to unionise.

The union has been denied access to T-Mobile’s offices and the company has even set up a “staff council” to try and create confusion among its employees. Despite this union membership and activity has continued to grow.

The CWU is asking for the public to join its campaign and show support by e-mailing protests to Brian McBride, managing director of T-Mobile in the UK. You can do this by filling out a form on our website.

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Article information

Sat 19 Mar 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1943
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