Extraordinarily, the bombshell that BT has placed its entire office-based Aberdeen workforce of 97 members at risk of compulsory redundancy from as early as September 30, dropped mid-way through a special CWU online branch forum on Tuesday to discuss the fast deteriorating industrial relations outlook across BT Group.
At a stroke the jaw-dropping development – which is not just devastating to the individuals directly affected but also to an entire city that is already struggling to cope with the decline of the oil industry – gave unwanted but highly poignant additional launch-day impetus to the union’s Count Me In campaign of resistance.
Throughout the past few months CWU members across BT, EE and Openreach have delivered a consistent, loyal and essential service. You are one of those key workers and I thank and congratulate you for all you have done keeping essential services, businesses, families and friends connected with one another in what has been a challenging, tragic and unprecedented moment in our lives.
“It is, with a heavy heart that I am writing to you today to explain how your employer (BT Group) has chosen to ignore your sterling service and to highlight the urgency of how we must act in response.”
BT Group’s reorganisation plans involve:
- Closure of, at least, 175 sites
- An un-coordinated approach across Customer Facing Units (CFUs) which will lessen the chance of re-deployment and managing the situation by voluntary means
- Undermining and ignoring your agreements that protect your pension and voluntary redundancy terms
- Drastically reducing the pay, terms & conditions for multiple roles and grades
All of this will have an impact on you and your future job security. At a time of economic uncertainty and worry, BT Group is ploughing ahead with a radical reorganisation of its business; implementing changes that will undermine your existing benefits and job security as a BT Group worker. All of this to protect profit not people. The actions of BT Group are extremely shocking aggressive and morally questionable.
Your Union’s position is clear. We aim to enter talks with BT and campaign to:
- Increase job security and maximise the number of UK direct labour jobs in BT
- Agree a centrally coordinated response to redeployment across all CFU’s to create a pathway that allows retraining and reskilling well in advance of any redundancy announcements
- Maintain decent pay, terms and conditions for all BT employees by ensuring a fair grading, pay and reward structure
- Create a fair, enhanced voluntary redundancy package
- Re-instate the legally binding element of the pensions agreement
- Minimise the use of contractors and reduce off shore work to maximise employment for UK BT employees
Now is the time for us all to come together and get involved to achieve these aims. By getting involved you will help us create the necessary leverage with the company. Being a union member means we are part of an active community that achieve things together. It does not matter if you have not been active in the union in the past. There is something for everyone to get involved in to be part of this campaign.
CWU’s Response – BT Members, prepare to ballot – now is the time to fight
The video session Tuesday14th July has over 20,000 cross-platform views already. You can watch it back via the following links;