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IG Metaller bei Avaya

Trade unionists at Avaya setting goals

Bad Orb, 25th of April 2010 The works council elections at Avaya have strengthened the IG-Metall positions. Under these pleasant conditions, more than 30 active trade unionists from different Avaya locations met at the educational institution of the IGM in Bad Orb (23rd - 25th of April).
Besides the very fruitful general exchange of experience, the core themes of the discussions lay in the following questions:
How can this now be transformed into concrete council work at the local and nationwide (general works council) level?
How can the work of the confidants be arranged and improved at each location and be cross-linked nationwide?
How will the dispute over collectively agreed working conditions be continued?
How can the lobby at European level (European Works Council) further be developed?

Election results from Hamburg and Munich

In the new works council of Hamburg, the "Geimeinsame Liste Hamburg" (list 1) will be represented with 8 seats, "Die Alternative" (list 2) with one seat and BROLLI (list 3) will not be represented.
Turnout: 74.3%

In Munich the IGM-Liste (list 1) has 4 seats and the list 2 has 5 seats. The candidates of the IGM-Liste are very satisfied with this result.

Works council election Frankfurt: Open IGM list wins

Frankfurt, 18th of March 2010 At Avaya Frankfurt the "Offene Liste IG Metall" wins 8 out of 15 seats in the new works council. The other two lists will receive 4 (IGEL) and 3 (TIGER) seats. The employees at the locations Frankfurt, Darmstadt and Dietzenbach were called to the polls. With about 75% the turnout was higher than in previous years.
The election on 17th of March 2010 took place at nearly all sites of Avaya Germany, we will be reporting on the other results.
For the candidates and friends of the IGM list the election result in Frankfurt was a good reason to celebrate anyway.

Here you will find the English translation of the part of new Inform, which concerens the International Women`s Day, because other parts concern the local workers council election, which have only temporary relevance.

Take a Break

Frankfurt, 24th of February 2010
The works council elections approach.
The candidates of the "Open List IG Metall" invited the staff for a conjoint lunch break. At Chilli con Carne and songs by Ernst Schwarz they informed and discussed.

Those who could not be there, can inform oneself about candidates and program in this brochure (size about 4 MB, German text).
Siegfried Winter spoke about ERA Structure Component and the ongoing downsizing pressure.

Gisela Ungeheuer specially had interrupted her vacation.

Fight for increase in tariff was worth it:
Avaya management throws in the towel

Frankfurt, 8th of February 2010 More than 3 years this struggle lasted and went through 3 instances. In 2006 the "former" management - as the "today's" management writes to their "Dear employees" - decided not to cash out the increase in tariff completely.
Fortunately, the Works Constitution Act sets certain limits to entrepreneurial arbitrariness which was realized by the IGM confidants at Avaya: the works council would have to be heard. Following the recommendation of the confidants more than 300 employees then demanded their due and entire increase in tariff (see report dated from 16th of November 2006). On 15th of March 2007 the Frankfurt Labor Court has received 159 lawsuits. They agree upon 6 master lawsuits. Avaya loses in 1st instance (see report from 13th of June 2007) and in 2nd instance (see report from 6th of May 2008). Avaya regardless went into the next round: Federal Labor Court. Many wanted to witness the delivery date on 23rd of February 2010 in Erfurt, the bus was ordered. But the Avaya management was previously informed that they will be the loser once again and withdrew the lawsuit.
Now all those can be glad who had followed the recommendation of the IGM confidants in 2006 and had claimed on time for the full increase in tariff.

The new Inform is here. For reading, downloading and handing on.

Renewed advance from the operational tariff commission

Frankfurt, 4th of February 2010 The operational tariff commission decided on the 4th of February to ask the employer to resume exploratory talks. The IGM is willing to negotiate collective agreements for all of Avaya throughout Germany, including a uniform classification system.
It is known however, that Mr. Runge would rather have negotiations with the general works councils. But currently there is no majority for that in the executive committee of the general works council.

Protest from Avaya works council in Italy against staff reduction

Rome/Milan, 4th of February 2010 Following the acquisition of Nortel Enterprise Avaya is now planning a staff reduction of 400 people. In Italy 20 out of a total of 106 jobs are affected. The Avaya works councils of Rome and Milan criticize this and have announced resistance in a joint resolution (German text).
The local management justified the overstaffing because the expected proceeds of the ex-Nortel Enterprise Business Division in 2010 will lie below which the management of Nortel announced before the 21st of December 2009.
The councils now must hear that for Avaya it was impossible to review the "books" as if there were no rules for the implementation of the Due Diligence.
Picture: Street advertising in Frankfurt

ERA Structure Component not paid: next storm?

Frankfurt, 24th of January 2010 Avaya had not paid the ERA structural Component (German text) (37% of monthly income) in November 2009. In January 2010 it was announced that they would not do, because legal uncertainty consists if they have to pay anyway. Not until April, the Federal Labor Court would deal with similar cases and then one would take it from there. On the same day the IGM confidants at Avaya have informed all potential beneficiaries about the fact that all potential claims are lapsed until April because of the limitation period. They recommended to make claims immediatly with appropriately completed forms. As in 2006 - because of the ATZ-allowance - a total of almost 400 enforcement have been collected and handed over to the staff department on the 24th of January.

First collective agreement between Avaya and IGM:
Payoffs from the ERA Adjustment Fund

Frankfurt, December 2009 In December, for the first time a collective agreement was concluded between Avaya and the IG Metall. Therein is agreed that the discharging resp. the employees already discharged between the 16th of December 2009 and the 31st of December 2010, according to the social plan from the 25th of June 2009, at least get "their share" from the ERA Adjustment Fund. That makes even 3000 € for any man. The ERA collective agreement rather intended that on implementation of ERA the pot will be shared between the then remaining tariff employees.

Socially reconcilable?

These days almost 100 dismissals are passed at Avaya locations in Germany partially to long time employees.
Many others have been previously "voluntarily” changed to a transfer company, or have signed termination agreements.
In a new Inform inter alia there will be rendered the thoughts of a victim.

Group picture with locust

Bad Orb, 18th of September 2009 Already a good tradition is the meeting of works councils and other labor union members at the IG Metall educational institution.
This time the discussion about the upcoming split of the company was the centre of attention.
How are the future prospects of the companies to be assessed?
What influence can be won by the workers' representatives in the transformation process?

Conjoint for a good life

Frankfurt the 5th of September 2009 Avaya employees from everywhere in Germany met in the “IG Metall Arena” (Actually a stadium named “Commerzbank Arena”).

Under the motto “Make politics for the majority of the people” they participated along with 45,000 other people in a day of action by the IG Metall on Saturday.

While Berthold Huber claimed “a fundamental change of course in economy and politics” as a lesson from the disaster at the financial market, our colleagues called attention to the actual situation at Avaya with their banner.

In the next weeks the “redundancy dismissals” are expected. Some of the attendees shall loose their employment at the will of the company, too.

Thanks, we already have abandoned!

Frankfurt 29th of May 2009 To cut further costs the Avaya management wants to dig deep into the pockets of their employees. By short-time work and unpaid leave the employees - for the benefit of the shareholders - should relinquish.
Many employees from Avaya-Frankfurt gave an answer to the management on Friday the 29th of May. During lunch break they compiled, what one was already forced to abandon in the last years. There was e.g. unpaid overtime, no fare rises or telework.
This lunch break once was something else not only because of this. At a cosy gathering in fair weather the IG Metall spend grilled sausages and drinks.
From the contributions a suitable placard will be formed, so it will stay in remembrance of the management for long, what whole lot they are impositioning to the staff. More pictures

Now Frankfurt knows Avaya

Frankfurt 1st of May 2009 Many employees of Avaya used the demonstration and rally on 1st of May in Frankfurt to make Avaya known among about 6000 participants. Siegfried Winter from the IGM-confidants and member of the works council had the opportunity at the rally to report about the situation, which the colleagues are facing at Avaya.
"You don’t know Avaya?" so we asked on a flyer that was distributed. Here is the history of the company listed that was well known under T&N or Telenorma not only in Frankfurt. "100 years a productive business! 10 years investors and pure profit capitalism!" So it is summarized and described where we are today.

This was our message on 1st of May in Frankfurt:
Even at Avaya! Resistance against job destruction and profiteering.

more pictures

Frankfurt 29th of April A new Inform can be downloaded read and spread.

We don’t pay for your crisis! Not either at Avaya!

28th of March 2009 That was reported about this day: 25 thousands in Frankfurt, 30 thousands in Berlin, several 10 thousands in London and 20 thousands in Vienna are refusing to accept that the consequences of the financial and economical crisis should be carried out on the backs of those who are not responsible. In Frankfurt there were colleagues from Avaya too and showed that those responsible and the profiteers have names (picture on the right). And something else is evident to all: That was just the beginning and there will be no rest. Not either at Avaya.
More information on

IGM seminar: Prearrangement to the crucial phase for Avaya employees

Bad Orb the 22nd of March 2009 The unionised colleagues will start further initiatives and actions at Avaya to cross the plotted course of the Avaya management. Thereon agreed the 44 participants (from several German and European Avaya locations) of the IG Metall seminar last weekend in Bad Orb. The further risen number of participants showed that the interest and expectations are high. Within this scope the leading top of the European works council (EWC) met, too. Beyond the so far known volume of staff cuts further measures are expected to be planned. In a resolution the seminar participants addressed the EWC with the wish to demand clarity from Avaya and to develop alternatives to the planned cuttings. At the end of the
seminar anyone was aware that the coming months we will undergo the crucial phase for Avaya and its employees.

Picture below: Some of the present EWC delegates (A. Tognetti, 2nd f.l., H.P. Preller, 5th f.l., S. Winter, P. Hofer, M. Rösch) together with the initiators of the creation of the EWC from the Tenovis period. (J.C. Bracq, 1st f.l., U. Höppner, 3rd f.l., N. Kettner, 4th f.l.)

EDS and Avaya – Joint Opposition against the Greed for Profit

Hanover, 5 March 2009 Outside the CeBit Computer Fair in Hanover, Germany, about 1,200 employees of Avaya and the IT service provider EDS were demonstrating against cost-cutting and job-reduction plans. “Excessive profit orientation, job reduction schemes and pay check cuts are the current trends in the IT sector affecting more and more employees”, criticized Helga Schwitzer of the IG Metal Board (trade union for the metal industry). “We used to set trends in our business but now we are only imitating the nasty solutions of others.” Staffs from various locations had called a warning strike to participate in the protest in Hanover.

Avaya Dismisses Negotiations on Collective Labor Agreement at the Moment

Frankfurt, 24 February 2009 The IG Metall (trade union for the metal industry) had submitted their demands to be included in a collective labor agreement to the respective managements on 5 February 2009.

We had given them a deadline until 13 February 2009 to resume negotiations and had otherwise declared the negotiations failed.

With the expiration of the deadline we received a reply from the Avaya managements. The management referred us to the negotiations with the general works council and demanded that IG Metall await the results of these negotiations with the general works council. Besides, the negotiations with the general works council required all of their time.

In other words: At present they are not willing to enter into negotiations with IG Metall.

In a short reply to the management, we stressed again our demands and asked them once again to enter into negotiations with us.

Our emphasis:

Negotiations with the general works council are mandatory by law if the management intends to cut back the workforce substantially. However, the works council cannot call a warning strike. It has only limited possibilities within the negotiation process to enforce its own interests to save jobs and/or to agree on agreeable measures in case of job cuts. But this is about voicing the staff’s opinion very clearly. If we want to accomplish more, we will have to revert again to warning strikes.

Works meeting Cologne

Cologne, 3rd of February 2009 A quite good report from the works meeting incl. own thoughts to which the speakers said could be read in the forum. Here to be read again.

1.27. Warning Strike also in Hamburg and Stuttgart

In Hamburg there were more than 100 colleagues on the street for a warning strike. In a spontaneous demonstration they took a walk round the block. Most of them didn’t check out but did a real strike. Take notice of the new Avaya-Logo on the T-Shirts!

In Stuttgart a works meeting took place, on which J. Gallmann appeared personally.
As we understand with a bodyguard for protection. The joint was crowded and the colleagues had several questions to ask. It was reported that Mr. Gallmann lost his countenance at least three times after he had to take note of what’s happening among the customers regarding sales issues. We wish him luck on retrieving his countenance.