Double-decker shame for ‘beyond belief’ BT as CWU goes on the buses

Telecoms & Financial Services, BT

Tuesday 8th December 2020

BT’s betrayal of key workers who’ve kept the country connected through the pandemic, only to be  ‘rewarded’ with compulsory redundancy notices, is being broadcast loud and clear throughout the capital thanks to stark CWU messaging  on London’s iconic buses.

Deliberately echoing  the company’s ‘Beyond Limits’ marketing  slogan,  the CWU’s publicity campaign highlights a home truth that top bosses in BT Centre will hopefully find hard to ignore. After all, between now and the end of February, ‘Beyond Belief’ branded buses will pass right under their noses every few minutes!

The message is stark but simple: “BT workers who kept us connected during the pandemic are now being made compulsory redundant. Will you support our key workers?”

Emblazoned on no fewer than 60 double-deckers that constantly criss-cross the metropolis, the public awareness campaign is focused on all the routes emanating from Transport for London’s Bow Garage. That’s because, as well as serving the city centre, those routes extend right to the outer suburbs.

As such, for the next three months  the ‘Beyond Belief’ message – complete with the CWU’s Count Me In campaign hashtag – will be a daily feature of the street scene from Stanmore in the north to Croydon in the South; Dagenham in the East and Heathrow in the West. Appropriately the routes in question take in Wimbledon Broadway, home of the CWU since 1997, and Ealing where the NCU was based pre-merger!

The literal rollout of the bus advertising campaign follows hot on the heels of last month’s high profile projections of an identical message on BT Centre and Openreach’s Judd Street headquarters – and comes just as the union’s BT Group-wide consultative ballot on industrial action is entering its final few days.

CWU T&FS Executive member Peter Francis, who helped organise both publicity stunts alongside fellow members of union’s London region Count Me In campaign hub, explains: “With the ballot closing at midday on Thursday we wanted to send a clear message to CWU members across London that BT’s disgraceful behaviour simply means that anyone who hasn’t yet voted ‘yes’ should do so without delay.

“Just as importantly, however, this is about opening the public’s eyes to what sort of company BT has become. Hopefully that will  generate wider awareness as to why the union is making a stand – not just before the announcement of the ballot result at 1pm on Thursday, but also in the aftermath when there’s certain to be significant media coverage.”

Thanking the CWU’s London postal branches for splitting the cost of both the bus advertising and earlier projections, Peter concludes: “This wonderful example of solidarity from our postal colleagues sends a powerful and reassuring message to our beleaguered members in BT that they have the whole CWU behind them.”

Members are reminded that the consultative ballot on industrial action will close at 12 noon this Thursday (December 10) – with the result being announced in a special Facebook Live session at 1pm that day.