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VW workers win off-hours BlackBerry block

About 1,000 Volkswagen employees in Germany will stop receiving after-hours e-mails on their company-issued BlackBerrys. Is it a fluke or the dawn of a new day?

CrackBerry heads, beware. RIM

To the horror or relief of workers everywhere, a major company has put the kibosh on after-hours e-mail, at least for some employees.

A Volkswagen union in Germany has struck an agreement with management under which the company's e-mail server will stop sending messages to VW-issued BlackBerrys a half hour after a worker's shift ends, the Financial Times reported this past week. The e-mail cessation will end a half hour before the employee's next shift. Workers can still make phone calls off hours.

The deal affects about 1,000 employees, the Financial Times reported. It's not a huge number and doesn't include senior managers or those outside certain pay brackets. But the idea of drawing any kind of line between work life and personal life flies in the face of a long-running trend.