Frankfurt Customers of German bank have to prepare for longer waiting times for telephone inquiries The Verdi and DBV unions have again called on the employees of DB Direkt, the institute’s call center subsidiary, to go on warning strikes. The work stoppages, which began on Saturday, January 2nd, should continue until Wednesday morning, around 6 a.m., the unions announced.
The two DB Direkt locations in Berlin and Essen are affected by the strikes. The background to the action is the faltering collective bargaining between the unions and Deutsche Bank. The workers’ organizations are demanding, among other things, a six percent wage increase.
Verdi wants a retroactive salary increase from April 2020, but at least 150 euros. The DBV aims for a term of 24 months and an option to convert the tariff increase into free time. According to Verdi, Deutsche Bank has offered a 1.5 percent pay increase from November 2020 and a further 1.5 percent from January 2022.
Many employees in the call center had already stopped work for a few days before Christmas. Verdi union secretary Roman Eberle told Handelsblatt that an average of two-thirds of the employees who had been assigned to the service took part in the strike before Christmas “to varying degrees”. As a result, the service level has dropped “significantly”. In some cases, customers would have had to accept waiting times of 40 minutes.
Deutsche Bank did not want to comment on the strike or Eberle’s statements. In the institute it was heard that the strike had been felt, but that the institute had increasingly used external service providers during the strike in December in order to mitigate the consequences of the strike. Many customers would have shown understanding for the longer waiting times.
Strikes in the home office
Deutsche Bank’s call centers played a more important role for the bank’s customer service in Corona year 2020 than before. On the one hand, the bank temporarily closed some branches at the beginning of the pandemic, on the other hand there are customers who currently tend to avoid branch visits for reasons of caution. Last autumn, the institute also announced further branch closings.
The corona crisis also affects the form of the work stoppage. Verdi and DBV refrain from rallies at the hit locations, they call for a “silent strike”. “For employees who work from home, this means: do not log into the systems and do not process any orders. Make sure that you are not available, ”says the DBV’s call for a strike.
More: Why German financial institutions cannot avoid mergers