German strike nears end

Industrial action at Deutsche Telekom may soon be over, with reports of an agreement as the operator extended job guarantees.

The German carrier is reported to have extended the job guarantees for some 50,000 staff by one year to 2012. The incumbent has drawn fire over plans to outsource 50,000 staff to three new companies, with new contracts expected to include lower wages and longer working hours.

The strike was launched late last month and involved some 15,000 workers.

The strikes are targeting technical infrastructure engineers, call centres and high street retail outlets.

German workers union Ver.di claims that the terms of the staff transfer, which affects mostly call-centre staff in the carrier’s T-Service division, will amount to a nine per cent pay cut with increased hours.

It looks like the company has accepted the longer term employment agreement in return for its consent to the transfer.

Industrial has action darkened the skies over Deutsche Telekom further since the carrier’s management claimed the transfer is urgently needed to reduce costs after a disastrous first quarter.

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