CWU to Openreach bosses: ‘Don’t endanger our members’

Telecoms & Financial Services, Openreach

                                Davie Bowman

Openreach management are being issued a stern warning not to “step over the line” as the company moves to invoke Contractual Overtime on the workforce.

In a strongly-worded communication to the union’s regional co-ordinators across the UK, assistant secretary Davie Bowman urges them to ensure full compliance with statutory working hours regulations and safe working procedures, insisting: “We will not allow the business to place any of our members at greater risk through additional attendance.”

The controversial step by the company comes against the backdrop of jobs being moved elsewhere within the business and is, according to Davie “a ludicrous position.

“They have just allowed circa 150 people to leave Service Delivery and join the Chief Engineer’s organisation, and there are also currently circa 30 Coaches on loan as well,” he explains, speaking of his and the union’s “disgust” that this approach is being taken by Openreach.

“Our members have supported the company over the last number of months assisting in keeping the country connected and have seen no thanks in return,” Davie continues, adding that “they remain worried regarding the potential impact of Covid on them, their families and the customers they assist”.  Yet our members continue to be  “put through the mill” with regard to annual leave as well as a refusal by Openreach to move away from the long held problem of personal travel time .

Regional CWU co-ordinators have been instructed to advise all their members to ensure that “each and every one of them” is enabled to access their current EWTD (Working Time Directive) total – which must include travel time – and to remind them of their statutory right to refuse to carry out any overtime which would put them in breach of EWTD. 

“The CWU will support anyone who does so and will act immediately should any manager seek to coerce or bully someone in those circumstances and any instances of managers stepping over the line will be dealt with immediately,” he pledges.