Larry Cohen speaks to thousands of striking German DT workers

25. April 2012: Today, Larry Cohen President of the Communications workers of America (CWA), gave a speech before 10,000 Deutsche Telekom workers. The rally took place in front of the hotel in Düsseldorf where T-Mobile USA’s parent company Deutsche Telekom and union ver.di are bargaining a new contract for 85,000 DT’s workers. Ver.di is calling for a pay raise to keep up with the cost of living. Yesterday, the fourth bargaining round started and a thousand workers went on strike for one day, as part of a program of rolling strikes. Delays and limitations were expected for customer services.

CWA President Larry Cohen spoke in solidarity on behalf of CWA with the demands of DT’s workers. “Your actions demonstrate the power of concerted action by thousands of employees. It is a very clear and straightforward message to management.”

In the USA, T-Mobile workers would be glad to have such a partnership with the management, but even this partnership can’t avoid disputes from time to time. Meanwhile, T-Mobile USA uses various instruments to prevent union recognition by election and hires union avoidance companies.

Larry Cohen arrived in Germany on Friday to address the German Social Democratic Party’s national conference on workers’ rights. He met with important politicians like Hannelore Kraft (Minister-President of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia) and Klaus Barthel (member of the German parliament), as well as ver.di president Frank Bsirske and the President of the German union confederation, DGB, Michael Sommer.

Click here to read President Cohen’s presentation.