I believe the CWU should protect all workers in the telecoms industry whether they have a permanent full time contract, or a temporary or fixed term contract. In the end Management can play divide and rule with our terms and conditions if we do not have equal rights. A few examples;
Comex are contractors to Virgin Media; they drive vans bearing the Virgin Media logo and wear the same image clothing as Virgin Media staff yet their pay and conditions are far inferior. Money is deducted from wages on any pretext such as parking tickets or alleged damage to equipment or customer premises so staff never know what they’ll get paid. And can lose hundreds of pounds in any given month. Despite the massive levels of discontent many workers are frightened to join the union as they fear a backlash from the employer. Comex say they respect legal right to join a union however their actions say otherwise!
There are also unrecognised staff in BT! here are over 5,000 employees who work for BT refused Union recognition. This includes staff who work for BT IT Services which became part of BT group several years ago, Their offices and publicity have the BT logo yet to date they have been hostile to any attempts to unionise the workforce. They have consistently refused to allow us onto their premises to speak to workers. There has been some success in recruiting members but they are extremely demoralised as they see staff in BT enjoy superior terms and conditions to their own.
The race to the bottom caused by liberalisation is nowhere more evident than amongst staff who are on zero hours contracts. It is outrageous that BT is prepared to use contractors who offer such contacts
In BT the CWU Executive has given in to BT’s cost cutting agenda and the logic of the ‘race to the bottom’ and the BT Employment Proposition agreed in 2014 institutionalised a ‘two tier’ workforce. Now new BT employees get much less than the NewGrid hours, pay rates, sick pay and other terms and conditions. It is wrong that the next generation should have to work longer hours per week, on lower pay rates, less sick pay, lower overtime rates and be subject to productivity bonuses to make up their pay. It will only get worse unless we can roll back their plans for Workforce 20/20
Agreeing two tier terms and conditions just stores up problems in the future and will inevitably undermine the situation for current employees. What will the situation eventually be for those seeking promotion or voluntary transfer?