Don’t betray loyal key workers, CWU urges BT Technology boss in damning open letter 

BT, Telecoms & Financial Services

Tuesday 18th August 2020

An urgent appeal has been issued to the boss of BT Technology to intervene in an increasingly contentious row over the business’s current  refusal to meaningfully engage with the CWU over ways the union believes staff surpluses could be addressed without the need for compulsory redundancies.

In a hard-hitting open letter – sent to the division’s Chief Technology and Information Officer, Howard Watson, this morning (Tuesday) –  the union laments the apparent determination of some managers in Technology to claim their first CR scalps by rewarding  loyal ‘key workers’ who have worked tirelessly to keep the country connected during the Covid-19 pandemic with the sack.

Pointing out that the CWU has an exemplary track record of working in partnership with BT to address past staff surplus situations through voluntarism – an approach that has seen tens of thousands take voluntary leaver packages since privatisation – CWU national officer for Technology Sally Bridge insists a “better way”  of dealing  with headcount reductions is not just possible but vital from a business that has any pretention of valuing its workforce.

             Sally Bridge

Stressing that the CWU is not questioning the reasons for Technology’s proposed transformation but rather “the way in which you are trying to achieve it”, Sally explains : “Technology’s current proposals, as they stand, will lead to the absurd position of many people who want to remain employed being forced out and, on the other hand, many who want to leave the company amicably being denied that opportunity.”

Insisting that the door remains open for talks that the union is convinced could address the current impasse “to the satisfaction of both parties,” Sally concludes her open letter to Mr Watson with a simple request for face-to-face meeting.

“We have a good track record of working together and making agreements that benefit our members and the business,” Sally points out. “We would therefore like the opportunity of meeting with you to find a way forward.”

  • Please click here to view full open letter
  • In the absence to date of a positive company response to the CWU’s repeated requests for meaningful negotiations, plans are taking shape for a high profile day of social media campaigning this coming Thursday (August 20).