New Year new impetus for #ENDGAME campaignTelecoms & Financial Services January 8 2019
The CWU’s fight against BT’s proposed outsourcing of its Facilities Services division with scant protection for transferring staff will take BT Centre by storm next Monday (January 14).
Reinforcing the union’s message that the outsourcing represents a mass betrayal of loyal employees, the high profile central London demonstration comes in the wake of four weeks of #ENDGAME campaign protests that targeted no fewer than 14 BT sites across the UK in the run-up to Christmas.
With the CWU certain that the proposed TUPE transfer on April 1 of 1,700 CWU represented grade employees to ISS and CBRE presents profound threats to job security and Ts&Cs, the key message the union is intent in getting across is that BT needs to ‘Stop Playing Games’ with the livelihoods of local employees.
With talks associated with the formal consultation period, which commenced in mid-December, so far yielding little to allay the union’s concerns, the CWU has now decided it has no option but pick up where it left off in December – yesterday serving the company notice of a major National Rally outside BT’s historic nerve centre in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Assistant secretary Sally Bridge explains: “We’d hoped that, by now, meaningful progress in talks with on the TUPE transfer would have rendered further public protests unnecessary – but sadly have come to the conclusion that insufficient progress means we have no alternative but to move to a National Rally.”
That rally promises to be the biggest #ENDGAME campaign protest to date in a location that will maximise BT’s discomfiture.
Meanwhile, the consultation period is now hotting up – and today (Tuesday) discussions will commence in earnest with ISS. Detailed talks with CBRE are also expected to begin imminently – with the CWU intent on trying to secure the assurances that in-scope employees crave on job security and Ts&Cs via negotiation and collective agreement.
Sally stresses that, while continuing to oppose the entire rationale of the proposed outsourcing, the CWU’s negotiating agenda is particularly focused on securing:
- Firm commitments by both companies against compulsory redundancies and the agreement of improved voluntary redundancy terms for any job losses that may occur post-transfer
- The protection of existing Ts&Cs for all transferring staff including:
- Maintaining, as an absolute minimum, the Real Living Wage for housekeepers and security officers
- The protection of contractual hours for all staff being outsourced.
Stressing that she “doesn’t expect the talks to be easy or straightforward”, Sally Bridge concludes: “We have a full agenda, the stakes are high and the clock is ticking. That’s why we’re determined to reiterate the union’s red lines at the #ENDGAME campaign National Really we will be holding outside BT Centre next Monday.
“I’d urge as many as possible of the hundreds of BTFS members who have expressed their profound concerns about what the TUPE holds in store for them to try to make it along to the protest if they possibly can.
“Let’s all deliver an unmistakable message to BT that we expect a blue chip company of its stature to treat loyal employees with dignity and respect.”
- The BTFS #ENDGAME campaign National Rally will take place outside BT Centre at 81 Newgate Street, London EC1A 7AJ from 12 noon to 1.30pm on Monday January 14. Speakers will include CWU general secretary Dave Ward and deputy general secretary (T&FS) Andy Kerr.
- Members are urged fill in the ‘cut out’ petition on page 3 of the winter edition of The Voice magazine they will have just received, and either hand it to their local rep for forwarding to headquarters, or post it direct to the address provided.