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    Deutsche Bank call centers interrupted by a four-day strike

    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank call center staff ended a four-day strike on Wednesday that, according to a union official, led to waiting times of 45 minutes for customers trying to get in touch with the bank.

    Some 650 employees, employed by Deutsche Bank subsidiary DB Direkt in Berlin and Essen, asked for a 6% pay rise, but decided to go on strike after a fourth round of talks ended without a deal.

    Verdian union official Roman Eberle said the strike achieved the goal of disrupting business at a critical time for the bank. He said he hadn’t heard yet from management on the resumption of talks.

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    Banks, including Deutsche Bank, had to rely more on call centers during the coronavirus crisis and even after branch closures to cut costs.

    “Call centers are more important than ever,” Eberle said.

    Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

    Stephan Szukalski, an official from the DBV banking union who also represents Deutsche’s call center staff, said around 70 percent of employees participated in the strike.

    Reporting by Tom Sims and Patricia Uhlig. Editing by Jane Merriman

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