Normally, we have positive news when it comes to election staff representation called Works Councils (Betriebsräte), but this week is an exception.
N26 retaliates against Works Council initiators
Workers of the online bank N26 announced their intent to elect a Works Council, with electoral committee elections scheduled for Thursday and Friday (13/14th August) this week. In a public letter, N26 workers outline why they’re forming one: https://www.worker26.com/
Since then, management has resorted to filing a lawsuit against the initiators, barring them from continuing their duties. They are actively working with Ver.di union to fight these obvious union busting tactics, to intimidate and scare workers. Please share your support online by messaging N26 customer service, and tweeting your support for Works Council at N26.
On 13 August 2020, Ver.di announced they will chair the meeting, because 6 N26 employees were banned by legal injunction. An electoral committee was voted upon for N26 Operations GmbH. The following day, N26 management raised a new injunction, banning Ver.di from chairing it, so the sister union, IG Metall stepped in to chair today’s meeting. On top of that, “someone” called the police, who fortunately left after seeing there was nothing illegal happening. What would make an incredible crime novel has become part and parcel of management tactics. We will not buckle down and we will prevail in the end!
For live updates check out their twitter account: https://twitter.com/worker291
Webhelp tries to shut down Works Council
Webhelp Holding Germany GmbH, which is already notorious for outsourcing already has a Works Council, so management decided to make life a living hell for the elected Works Councillors, by verbally shouting at employees, withholding pay, and trying to dissolve the Works Council. This situation is so extreme, IG Metall Berlin took the rare step and filed a criminal complaint against Webhelp.
Mozilla fires 25% of staff, including in Berlin
Mozilla is known for their open source Firefox browser and Thunderbird mail client. This is the second round of layoffs at Mozilla this year, this time over 250 people lost their jobs including the entire Taipei office. To support people looking for jobs, check out #MozillaLifeBoat. This has deep ramifications for the future of the open web.
What’s clear is, we are winning and management is terrified of that, so they’re playing dirty. The support and expertise of IG Metal and Ver.di unions in these cases are crucial, for fighting back when needed. If you have questions about which union is right for you, you’re in the right space and am happy to discuss it with you!
If you are a journalist, or know someone who’s a journalist. Workers and Union representatives are available from both campaigns, please privately message back.
Solidarity, Steering Committee — Berlin Tech Workers Coalition