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Blackberry 'reprieve' for tired employees

Published: 23 Dec 2011 13:34 GMT+01:00

Well, if you're an employee at German car maker Volkswagen, you will now be officially released from the tyranny of the little electronic ball and chain in future, at least during after-work hours and at weekends.

"A deal has been reached" with labour representatives and the mighty IG Metall union under which the carmaker's server will no longer transmit emails to thousands of employees' company Blackberrys between 6:15 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., a spokesman told AFP.

The "truce" was "already in force," the spokesman said.

"As a company, we need and make use of up-to-date means of communication. But we realise that a balance needs to be struck. We feel this deal strikes such a balance," he said.

Last month, household chemicals specialist Henkel, maker of Persil washing powder, similarly declared an email "amnesty" for its employees between Christmas and New Year.

"The message is: only send an email in case of an emergency. That goes for all employees," Henkel chief Kasper Rorsted told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Rorsted said he had made it a habit never to read his messages at the weekend.

"I take a last look at my Blackberry on Saturday morning. And then I put it aside for the rest of the weekend. I spend time with my children," the chief executive said.

"I don't have to read my emails simply because someone somewhere is bored and sending me them," he continued. "It shows a lack of respect to pester

people like that."

AFP/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:55 December 24, 2011 by wood artist
The key is to understand that the phone/blackberry/handy is a tool. It is NOT your Master. If the phone rings, you're not automatically REQUIRED to answer it.

I'm old. I admit that. However, when I was growing up, when we got in the car to go shopping or to a park, we didn't have a phone with us. If someone called, nobody answered. There was no voice mail. Somehow almost everyone managed to live, survive, and for most of us, even flourish. Yes, now and then we might miss an important situation, but it rarely resulted in death or serious injury.

Now, however, we have allowed technology to rule us, even more than the days of the absolute rulers and serfs. If the phone rings, or a message arrives, we have no option but to look at it. WRONG! We can chose to enjoy that time with our family, friends, or whomever we are with. We actually CAN BE unavailable...and the world will NOT end. What a concept.

wa
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