THE Communications Workers Union Wales and the Marches (CWU) is holding a day of action today Thursday (Oct 1).

The union claims that BT, EE and Openreach have chosen to attack the job security, pay and terms and conditions of 1,000s of Key Workers in Wales and the Marches at a time when these same workers are risking their own health keeping the country connected and enabling millions of other workers to work from home and keeping the vital NHS and public services running.

The union also says that the CEO of BT Group, Philip Jansen and his senior management team are using the cover of the Covid19 Pandemic to remove the working terms currently agreed with the CWU whilst at the same time, they are enriching themselves by buying up £millions of BT Shares.

BT Group’s reorganisation plans involve:

  • Mass closure of many sites
  • Threatening and implementing compulsory redundancy rather than redeployment
  • A piecemeal approach to closing sites which lessens the chance of re-deployment
  • Undermining and ignoring agreements that protect pension and voluntary redundancy terms
  • Drastically reducing the pay, terms & conditions for multiple roles and grades
  • Taking public money for building the fibre network and outsourcing roles investing taxpayers money abroad
  • Removing agreed compulsory redundancy terms

The CWU has demanded:

  • Increase in job security and maximise the number of UK direct labour jobs in BT/EE/Openreach.
  • Agree on coordinated redeployment across all lines of business to create a pathway that allows retraining and reskilling well in advance of any site closures.
  • Maintain decent pay, terms and conditions for all BT/EE/ Openreach employees by ensuring a fair grading, pay and reward structure.
  • Create a fair, enhanced voluntary redundancy package where necessary.
  • Re-instate a previously agreed legally binding element of the workers’ pension agreement
  • Minimise the use of contractors and reduce offshore work to maximise employment for UK BT employees

CWU members in Wales and the Marches have joined the Count Me In campaign and will be highlighting the attack on key workers pay terms and conditions by taking a day of action on social media and at BT/EE/Openreach sites. All activity will be Covid Safe, respect local restrictions and keep communities connected.

Each area of Wales and Marches will be involving their members in getting the message across that the commitment of CWU members risking their health to keep the country connected can not be taken for granted and that using the Covid Pandemic to reduce workers terms and conditions is a despicable act. The BT boards failure on the share price has led to this attack on workers’ pay.

Andy Kerr, CWU Deputy General Secretary (T&FS) said

“It is crucial that people understand the same workers BT want to make redundant are those who have kept the country connected during the Covid pandemic.”

An unnecessary dispute with BT and Openreach Employees could impact on broadband service which is essential for keeping the country connected.

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