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Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA: Implications for the Global Economy

Larry Cohen President Communications Workers of America April 20, 2012

T-Mobile Contributes to Decline in Labor

Private Sector Union Membership


10.9% 8.0%



1933 1940 1945

1953 1962

1970 1974

1978 1982 1986

1990 1994

1998 2002 2006


Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Troy and Shiflin, U.S. Union Sourcebook, 1985

Collective Bargaining Coverage Worldwide

Collective Bargaining Coverage in 9 Countries






32.4% 23.5%



0% Australia Canada France Germany Japan Spain Sweden UK USA

Source: Monthly Labor Review, January 2006

U.S. Model Now Threatens World Economy


real wages Systematic assault on bargaining rights Increasing inequality ITUC chose Deutsche Telekom as the first global campaign to reverse this trend

The Face of Union Intolerance

The remainder of Peters time is devoted to the related areas of union avoidance and corporate campaigns Worked for T-Mobile USA since at least 2001

We Expect Better

7German and US T-Mobile workers at DT headquarters: We Expect Better!

Faces of T-Mobile USA 1

Elvis - 6 year exemplary employee personally attacked at mandatory meeting of all employees from which he was excluded during election campaign Long Island

Blake - Downsized in Dallas in recent closure of call centers

Faces of T-Mobile USA 2

Adam - fired from Maine call center after press conference questioning job loss

Roland - Performance award receiving Nashville Employee

Liliana - Single mother taking care of immigrant parents. Fired after building union committee Ft. Lauderdale

ver.di Works Council Members Appalled 1

"We are shocked about the way T-Mobile USA treats its employees. Management at T-Mobile should be ashamed that they allow this to happen.
Ado Wilhelm, Head of Central Functions for Telecommunications, ver.di

"It is very shocking to hear how T-Mobile USA is fighting these brave and engaged activists."
Kornelia Dubbel, works council member for Deutsche Telekom Customer Service

The personal reports from employees of T-Mobile US about their working conditions and the avoidance tactics of the union had us moved deeply."
Werner Schnau, Dieter Badel and Helmut Angerer


ver.di Works Council Members Appalled 2

"It makes me really angry that employees are intimidated and harassed when they want to join a union."
Connie Parisi-Bohmholt, Works Council Member

"I could really feel the fear that the workers feel when we went to a call center facility in Nashville and I handed out We expect better campaign leaflets to workers."
Josef Bednarski, Deputy Chairman, Deutsche Telekom Group Works Council


Public Statement by German Lawyers and Political Leaders

March 28, 2012

Represent wide range of opinion


Prof. Dr. Herta Dubler-Gmelin, (SPD) Minister of Justice 1998-2002 Prof. Dr. Thomas Dieterich, Judge of the Federal Constitutional Court from 1987 to 1994 and President of the Federal Labor Court from 1994 to 1999 Dr. Norbert Blm (CDU), Minister for Labor and Social Affairs 1982-1998 Franz Mntefering (SPD),Vice Chancellor 2005-2007 Gerhard R. Baum (FDP), Minister of the Interior 1978-1982 Dr. Peter Struck (SPD), Minister of Defense 2002-2005; currently President of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Prof. Dr. jur. Wolfgang Dubler, leading labor law scholar and author of the standard textbook on German labor law.

Prominent U.S. Lawyers and Political Leaders Recommend the High Road
The undersigned are former officials of the United States government who have both enforced and administered federal labor and employment laws in the U.S. as well as distinguished scholars of U.S. labor law. Collectively, we write to urge you to follow in our country the same enlightened labor-relations practice that you follow in your country and have committed to following around the world. Deutsche Telekom has also expressed its commitment to abide by the United Nations Global Compact, providing that employers should not interfere in workers decision to associate or try to influence their decision in any way. You have thus pledged not to oppose efforts by your employees to form unions, and you adhere to that pledge in your country and other parts of the world, yet in your U.S. operations, specifically at T-Mobile USA, you do not. Ray Marshall, Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Former Secretary of Labor Sara Fox, Former National Labor Relations Board Member Fred Feinstein, Former General Counsel, NRLB James J. Brudney, Fordham University School of Law Matthew Finkin, Illinois College of Law Catherine Fisk, University of California Irvine Julius Getman, University of Texas at Austin Thomas Kochan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Trade Unions in the Global Economy


labor rights as key for an open

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