DT faces its own union fight over streamlining

Germany's Deutsche Telekom has long seemed a safe haven from the layoffs and other operational cost cutting measures affecting many of the world's telcos, but now DT may be set to face the music. The company has long wanted to move thousands of jobs out of its fixed-line unit to other, lower-paying jobs in the company, and it had announced plans to consolidate 63 of its call centers into 24 locations, a move affecting about 8,000 employees.

But union Ver.di may have something to say about these plans, as unions are particularly strong in Germany. DT is still one-third owned by the German government and about 60,000 of its 263,000 employees are civil servants with job guarantees and other wage benefits. DT has been able to manage past cost cuts via voluntary separation offers, but cuts have become increasingly frequent. Now facing a new level of economic and competitive pressure, the telco may need to resort to laying off workers this time around if it can't gain concession from Ver.di. The union, meanwhile, has not ruled out the potential for a major strike.

For more:
- read this story at The Wall Street Journal

Related articles
Verizon reached a deal with its unions, avoiding a strike
Qwest also reached agreement with its unions