Why is Convergys being sold to Concentrix

The ver.di active group at the Concentrix call center (formerly buw, formerly Convergys) Münster introduces itself

It is well known that the working conditions of call center workers are not exactly looking rosy. Working in open-plan offices, an enormous workload, the requirement of extensive know-how depending on which company you are calling for, a wage “too little to live, too much to die”, the threat of old-age poverty, etc., are a permanent great burden for the employees .

In order not to wait any longer and to hope that their working conditions will someday improve by themselves, as if by a miracle, a handful of ver.di employees at the Concentrix call center (at that time buw) decided to take the improvements in their working conditions into their own hands and set up a so-called ver.di active group.

Since then, the members meet about once a month (during Corona also by telephone or video conference) and coordinate the union activities in the company from here.

The active group has elected a chairman + deputy from among its members, who invites to the meeting and sets the respective agenda in coordination with the other members.

Since it was founded in 2013, the group of activists has appeared regularly both internally and publicly with creative ideas and campaigns to improve the working conditions of employees, but also in terms of local politics.

One of the group's greatest successes to date can be described as the offensive against fixed-term employment contracts at Concentrix in 2016.

As a kick-off of the offensive, the active organized an information stand at the company to inform colleagues about the problems of fixed-term employment contracts. Actions attracted particular attention, for which, for example, with "Limitation? - off to the loo! "Printed toilet paper rolls were distributed throughout the company or" indefinitely! - Now “sticker. In addition, the active people built a wall of cardboard boxes in front of the company and symbolically breached it under the motto “Break through the wall of time limitation”. Apparently, all these actions left such an impression on the employer that new employment contracts were only concluded for an indefinite period shortly after the offensive and all fixed-term contracts were open ended. A great success for the active group.

The group of activists also made a name for itself with campaigns against the sale of BuW to Convergys in 2016 or the rule on the sickness rate applicable in the call center in 2017/2018/2019.

Every year on International Women's Day, the active distribute flowers to their colleagues in the company. Almost every year there is also a campaign for employees for St. Nicholas. Under the motto “Our work is worth more!”, For example, chocolate icons have already been distributed in the company.

The active group always takes part in the works meetings, which take place up to 4 times a year, with at least a ver.di information stand and well-prepared verbal contributions.

Since 2017, the active group has regularly offered an open ver.di meeting for employees outside the company.

The active group has been publishing a newsletter on current issues in the company since 2015.

In addition to all the content-related topics and campaigns, there is also plenty of fun. In 2016 and 2017, the Aktivenkreis organized a summer party together with ver.di.

It has long been clear to the members of the active group that the only way to improve the working conditions of the employees in call centers in the long term is to enforce a collective agreement. At a closed meeting in October 2019, they agreed on a common strategy for this. In addition to many small actions, signatures “For more money” should first be collected in the company. This campaign got off to a successful start with a kick-off event at the beginning of February 2020, at which currywurst was given away to employees. The corona pandemic and the immediate termination of the activists' group spokesperson put the campaign on hold.

In the meantime, the activist group spokesman - accompanied by numerous solidarity campaigns - has successfully sued his dismissal and has already returned to his place of work.

The next step will be to get the tariff movement, which was successfully launched in February, going again. We will keep you up to date.