The management of German technical services provider Media Broadcast and trade union ver.di have agreed on the introduction of a four-day work week from April 1, 2019.
The weekly working time will be reduced from 38 to 32 hours, to be spread over four days. The gross salary of employees will be cut by at least 7.29%. The new working time model applies to all staff members.
The agreement will prepare the company for digital transformation and secure jobs at the same time, Media Broadcast explained in a statement, adding that the background is the technological change from analogue technology to digital platforms that require less maintenance and less staff. With the introduction of the four-day week, the service provider wants to prevent employee overcapacities from mid-2019. The agreement also opens up more scope for future investments and new hires in innovation areas, according to Media Broadcast. Operational redundancies are ruled out until the end of 2023.
In October 2018, ver.di announced that Media Broadcast was in a difficult economic situation and was therefore negotiating with the trade union about the introduction of a four-day week to avoid redundancies. “In our opinion, the current situation of Media Broadcast is based on the one hand on the technical developments in the market segment and the lack of compensation possibilities, but on the other hand also on wrong decisions in the strategic orientation by the company’s management and shareholders,” according to ver.di.
A Media Broadcast spokesman explained the reasons as follows: “The need for cost reductions results from the foreseeable decline in workload due to the switch to less maintenance-intensive new technology such as DAB+ and DVB-T2 and from the foreseeable end of the network expansion for DVB-T2 in 2019 as well as from the sale of large parts of the FM business.”
Media Broadcast completed the sale of its FM business in December 2017, which was one of the service provider’s main footholds and revenue generators. The company, which was acquired by German media group Freenet in March 2016, also operates DVB-T2 and DAB+ transmitter networks as well as the Freenet TV platform broadcast via DVB-T2 and on the Astra satellite system (19.2° East).
Notably, Media Broadcast Satellite is not affected by this situation. The former satellite division of Media Broadcast was not taken over by Freenet and remains an independently owned, separate company.