Staff Council News - open letter to the Executive Board
Dear A1 Telekom Austria Group Executive Board,
the corona crisis currently presents us with very big challenges - for us as a company, for the management, but above all for the employees of the A1 Telekom Austria Group in all countries where we operate. Especially in the current situation, the employees prove their willingness to go far more than the extra mile for our company and our customers. It is only thanks to the extraordinary commitment of our colleagues, in some cases associated with high health risks, that we are able to keep our networks and services and thus the critical communication infrastructure up and running in many countries.
The importance of the A1 Telekom Austria Group as the backbone of the economy and society in many European countries is repeatedly emphasized by our management. We always hear praise from management for the great performance of the A1 employees. It is also repeatedly pointed out that the health of all our colleagues is absolutely worth protecting. On behalf of the European Works Council of the A1 Telekom Austria Group, we can take their word for it and expect that all colleagues who continue to have personal contact with customers and are therefore at high health risk, will be provided with the necessary protective equipment as quickly as possible. We also ask you to offer flexible working models and local solutions, as is already being implemented in some A1 operations, so that the difficult personal circumstances of many employees due to care obligations are also respected.
We appeal to the company being a social and responsible employer to consider the duty of care for all employees and the economic and socio-political aspects, especially in the currently very difficult phase. This also includes securing jobs for all employees and not taking advantage of the corona crisis to cut staff and implement restructuring measures. Behind every workplace, behind every FTE there is a person - a colleague who has a family. There are personal livelihoods behind every job. When facing the current global pandemic, statistics and budgets should not be the focus. Due to the massive savings in recent years, our company has a good financial basis to survive the crisis. We have sufficient liquidity and equity to master the difficult phase together.
In this connection, we ask you as the executive board of the A1 Telekom Austria Group to propose to the supervisory board to suspend the dividends for 2019 and 2020. Instead, we should use these funds to tackle the corona crisis and secure jobs. In times like these, our share price must not determine what management does. In addition, we strongly belive that in particular our major shareholders América Móvil and the Republic of Austria can understand and will accept a suspension of the dividend payment.