Published in News

Blackberry squashed by German unions

by on23 December 2011

Juice in our time

Unions working for Volkswagen have managed to force the management to make its servers stop sending emails to employees 30 minutes after each shift ends, only resuming 30 minutes before the next.

Many companies send emails from bosses and colleagues throughout the night and even on days off. But Volkswagen workers will be saved from all that. The deal could be a landmark for workers tired of being contacted out of hours using the devices. While some companies already impose a voluntary ban on BlackBerry use out of hours, there is concern about worker stress and burnout.

But the idea of having an automatic function built into the BlackBerry server itself is fairly unique - and offers little room for flexibility. In an interview with the Wolfburger Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper Heinz-Joachim Thrust of VW's works council said said that new possibilities of communication also contain inherent dangers.

I can remember when my trade union refused for years to let me type stories on a computer, then the shop steward, who was also a sub-editor, would moan about my spelling. [Luckily, Fudzilla is the proud result of non-union labour. Ed]

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