Following an inadequate offer from Deutsche Telekom for a 2.2 per cent pay rise, members of UNI affiliate ver.di have staged regional warning strikes across the country.
Some 12000 workers took part in the regional warning strikes this week, sending a clear message to the German telecoms giant that workers want fair pay in line with inflation and that the company should negotiate in good faith with the union. In total, ver.di is negotiating on behalf of 55,000 Deutsche Telekom workers.
In addition to several virtual events, there were also various on-site actions, especially in Hamburg, where workers unanimously rejected the employer’s offer. In the run-up to the third round of negotiations on 10 and 11 May, workers across Germany have now increased the pressure further.
A statement from ver.di said members had sent a “clear signal and support” to hold the employer to account.
“A strong result in this round of collective bargaining will not only be decided at the bargaining table – we are counting on you to show your solidarity at the workplace while we fight for your demands at the bargaining table,” the statement said.
“This week we will continue to increase the pressure and call for warning strikes across the country.”
UNI General Secretary Christy Hoffman said, “Throughout the pandemic we have seen corporations and billionaires lining their pockets while workers struggle to make ends meet. Only through collective bargaining and strong unions can we address rising inequality and meet the challenge of the cost of living crisis.”
“We are fully behind ver.di and its members fighting for fair wages, a dignified workplace and a fair share of company profits.”
The demands of ver.di members include:
Deutsche Telekom, which has increased its turnover by 7.7 per cent to 108.8 billion euros in 2021, has so far only offered a 2.2 per cent increase from October 2022 and a further 2 per cent increase from October 2023, as well as a one-off payment of 100 euros.