Telecommunications in USA and Montenegro
Lead NCPUnited States
Supporting NCP(s)Germany
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), ver.di and UNI Global Union regarding the activities of a German multinational operating in Montenegro and the USA. Specific instance transferred to the US NCP by the German NCP.
Theme(s)Concepts and principles, Employment and industrial relations
Date12 Jul 2011
Host country(ies)Montenegro, United Kingdom
SourceTrade Union
Industry sectorInformation and communication

Read the final statement issued by the US NCP concluding the specific instance - 9 July 2013

In July 2011, the German NCP received a request for review from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), ver.di and UNI Global Union ("CWA" collectively) alleging that Deutsche Telekom AG (DT) operating in the United States as T-Mobile USA, (DT/T-Mobile) and in Montenegro as Crnogorski Telekom A.D. Podgorica, had breached the concepts and principles, and employment and industrial relations provisions of the Guidelines with their labour practices in the United States. The German and US NCPs consulted and agreed that the US NCP would take the lead on the T-Mobile portion while the German NCP would handle the Crnogorski portion.

The trade unions specifically alleged that the activities of some DT/T-Mobile supervisors were, in effect, intimidating workers from exercising freedom of association. In response, DT/T-Mobile argued that CWA’s claims must be resolved under the process set forth under US law and that the NCP process was therefore not the appropriate forum; it also asserted that CWA was using the specific instance to further escalate a public campaign against DT/T-Mobile.

The US NCP clarified that its role was to provide a neutral, third-party facilitated dialogue and not make a determination whether a violation of the Guidelines has occurred, nor does it adjudicate disputes submitted under the process. After the NCP proposed ground rules for mediation, the parties appear receptive to the NCP’s assistance.

On 5 November 2012, the U.S. NCP issued an initial assessment determining that the issues raised by the parties merited further consideration and recommended voluntary, third-party mediation under the auspices of the US Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). 

Expressing numerous questions and concerns, DT/T-Mobile did not agree to a pre-mediation discussion until 26 February 2013. Following the pre-mediation meeting, FMCS requested a date for the first mediation meeting but did not receive a timely response from DT/T-Mobile.

On 19 March 2013 the U.S. NCP informed the parties that it was preparing a final statement regarding the specific instance. Based on the circumstances, the US NCP felt that it no longer was able to contribute to a positive resolution of the dispute and therefore withdrew its offer of good offices.