Don’t forget to vote – Telefonica/VM02 pay ballot opens

Telecoms & Financial Services, Telefonica UK, Virgin Media

Thousands of members begin a consultative e-poll called by the union to assess their views on the sub-inflation pay deal imposed by the business…

“It’s vitally important that as many eligible members as possible cast their vote and register their views,” said CWU assistant secretary Tracey Fussey this afternoon, as the big nationwide consultation opened.

“What’s happened here is that this hugely profitable company has imposed a pay settlement of 3 per cent on staff, while at the same time raising its prices to customers by 11 per cent.

“At a time when inflation is the highest it’s been for decades – 8.2 per cent RPI and 6.2 per cent CPI – Telefonica/VM02 workers are expected to settle for a pay deal of less than half the cost of living,” she said.

As well as imposing the sub-inflation pay rates for 2022, Telefonica/VM02 chiefs have also indicated that they will impose an even lower settlement for 2023, of 2 per cent.

Tracey continued: “Our hard-working members have served the public throughout the pandemic, have regularly gone the extra mile to ensure customer needs are met, have put in extra hours and shifts to make sure the nation has remained connected. And in return for all this, they are being, quite frankly, insulted by their employer here.

“But now this loyal and dedicated workforce have the opportunity to express their anger and frustration – by voting in this ballot and returning a massive mandate”

A consultative ballot is aimed at proving to the company the sheer strength of feeling on the issue of pay, and will, if the result is strong enough, provide clear proof that the workforce rejects the way that the business is treating them.

It is hoped that a powerful result in this poll will persuade Telefonica/VM02 bosses to re-open pay negotiations and put together an improved and more acceptable pay proposal.

But equally, a strong ballot result could lead to a full, statutory industrial action ballot in accordance with the law – if the company still refuses to budge.

The vote opened today and closes on 12th April and all eligible members have been sent details explaining exactly how to participate in the process.

“We’ve sent out all the relevant information to all members and we’ve also sent out advice to branches and representatives in terms of how to deal with and respond to any enquiries,” Tracey explains.

“So, let’s all work as hard as we can to get the vote out and let’s show Telefonica/VM02 bosses that this union means business.”