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German workers take job loss protests to Vodafone HQ

German workers whose jobs are under threat after a takeover by Vodafone will be demonstrating outside the company’s offices and flagship store in London on Monday 11 March.

The demonstrations will be held from 10:00 to 11:30 outside the company’s global HQ in Paddington (the protest will be at the car/taxi entrance on Bishops Bridge, off Bishops Bridge Road, around the corner from the 1 Kingdom Street, London W2 6BY entrance), and from 14:00 to 15:00 in front of the Vodafone store at 341-349 Oxford Street, London W1C 2HN.

The protestors are members of Germany’s EVG trade union, and will be joined by members of the UK’s RMT and Prospect unions, and personnel from the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation), of which the EVG is a member.

Johannes Kuipers, EVG union secretary for telecoms, said: “These workers are highly skilled communications engineers who help ensure the safe running of German railways. Following privatisation rail telecoms were taken over by Vodafone, who are now threatening to cut those crucial jobs. That is why they are taking their message that the jobs cuts have to stop direct to the heart of Vodafone’s operations.”

He continued: “Vodafone cuts jobs and redundancy payments. Its office in Eschborn near Frankfurt am Main has lost 750 jobs in three years. Now another 395 jobs are being relocated. Those who can’t relocate are going to lose their jobs. The company makes 3.4 billion euros a year in Germany but is trying to lower the redundancy payments to small handouts.”

The EVG (Eisenbahn- und Verkehrsgewerkschaft EVG) is a major German trade union representing railway and transport workers. For more details see www.evg-online.org (in German)

ENDS

For more details please contact:

EVG main press contact at the demonstrations (German and English speaking): Dr. Vera Schilling, deputy chair of the Eschborn/Sulzbach worker's council. Tel: +49 1724450022. Email: vera.schilling@vodafone.com

Also attending will be (German speaking):
• Johannes Kuipers, EVG union secretary for telecoms. Tel: +49 1737009624
• Lars Kreer, chair of the Eschborn/Sulzbach worker's council. Tel: +49 1733009021
• Workers whose jobs are under threat and an (English and German speaking) worker who has already lost her job.

Press contact at the ITF: Sam Dawson. Tel: +44 (0)20 7940 9260. Email: dawson_sam@itf.org.uk