Trade union calls for Deutsche Telekom strike over wage talks

So-called warning strike will be for a limited time under German labour law

FRANKFURT (REUTERS) — German trade union Verdi called another strike for thousands of service workers at Deutsche Telekom, to raise the pressure on the telecoms company in ongoing wage talks.

The strike will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, affecting customer services and technical support divisions, the union said on Monday.

The walkout is a so-called warning strike of limited duration, which under German labour law does not require a ballot.

As part of the wage negotiations, which has already seen limited strike action, Deutsche Telekom has offered to raise pay by 3 percent with no more increases for two years. Verdi wants a 5.5 percent increase and to renegotiate another rise in a year's time.

Verdi also wants Deutsche Telekom to refrain from mandatory layoffs. The new agreement would cover 72,000 Telekom employees in Germany, excluding staff at its IT services business T-Systems unit, which have their own labour contract.

Deutsche Telekom announced last year it plans to cut around 7.5 percent of jobs in the next three years at T-Systems, and media reports have suggested even more could be shed.

Latest stories