Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s Parent Company, Fails to Live Up to Its Claims on Human and Labor Rights, According to New Report

Washington–(ENEWSPF)–Dec. 12, 2011. According to a study released today, Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile USA, failed to meet the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards that justify its self-awarded A+ rating on corporate responsibility. The study, published by the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC), reveals that Deutsche Telekom’s corporate social responsibility report has substantial gaps on the GRI’s human and labor rights reporting standards. The GRI is considered the “gold standard” of corporate responsibility reporting.

The TUAC report details the company’s failure to report on global standards and finds that Deutsche Telekom highlighted its practices in its home country of Germany while failing to disclose its labor and human rights record in its non-German operations.

With regard to its T-Mobile USA subsidiary, which has waged a well-documented campaign against workers who want to form a union, Deutsche Telekom claims that T-Mobile has complied with US labor laws but is silent on T-Mobile’s compliance with international standards such as the ILO core conventions on the right to organize and bargain collectively which in a number of respects are more stringent than U.S. law and which are also covered by GRI’s reporting standards. 

“Workers at T-Mobile USA say they want to come together through TU, the joint union of the Communications Workers of America and the German union ver.di. But the workers have faced fierce opposition from management, which has run a campaign to misinform and discourage workers from exercising their fundamental human right to participate in the union,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO and President of TUAC.

The company claims fourteen core labor and human rights indicators are “covered completely” in its GRI Report, while a fifteenth is “covered partly.” In fact, the TUAC report shows that only two are covered completely, seven are covered partly, and six are not covered at all. The TUAC report also finds that Deutsche Telekom disproportionately focuses its employee reporting on management employees while making scant reference to its policies for tens of thousands of non-management employees. According to the report, only one of Deutsche Telekom’s 17 reported sustainability “Key Performance Indicators” relates to workers at all.

“We stand with T-Mobile USA workers and all Deutsche Telekom workers to demand that the Deutsche Telekom respect fundamental worker rights everywhere it operates – to earn a real A+ rating for corporate responsibility,” Trumka said.

Click here [ ] to read the TUAC report.

Deutsche Telekom’s 2010/2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report can be found here [ ]