EE membership surge continuesEE, Telecoms & Financial Services July 18 2018
More than 1,000 new members have been signed up in EE following the post-CWU Annual Conference launch of a bold new recruitment initiative that is proving a game-changer in the union’s quest for full collective bargaining rights at the BT-owned mobile giant.
Just over two months into the turbo-charged membership drive – under which union subs are being temporarily waved for both new joiners and existing members in EE’s contact centre environment pending the signing of a formal recognition agreement – the initiative has already transformed the visibility of the CWU in a company where, until recently, CWU activity was largely limited to leafleting of employees arriving at work.
Now conducted in canteens or rest areas well within the respective call centres, the CWU stalls promoting the benefits of union membership on formal CWU Access Days are just the most visible tip of a membership campaign that is being bolstered by the behind-scenes work of a plethora of new reps within the company.
“The really encouraging thing about what’s going on is that we’re getting a lot of people coming forward saying they want to get actively involved in the CWU’s campaign for recognition,” stresses CWU assistant secretary John East.
“Just last week two more people have volunteered to become reps in Greenock, meaning that we now have four reps at a site where six months ago we were struggling to get anyone actively involved.
“In Merthyr Tydfil, where we were struggling to identify new reps as recently as Christmas, we now have six – and in Plymouth we now have atleast ten reps where, prior to the latest initiative, we’d only had two.
“In Doxford, which has historically been difficult territory for the CWU on account of the formerly union-hostile influence of T-Mobile, we now have six reps – and in both the North Tyneside sites and the three EE buildings in Darlington we now have impressive teams of CWU activists taking our engagement with potential new members to the next level.
“Across the country we’ve transformed the landscape in terms of CWU activity in EE to the extent where we probably now have more activists in EE call centre than we do in equivalent BT sites.”
Pointing out that the influx of new reps means that recruitment in EE is now less reliant on Access Days than it has ever been before, John added: “In Plymouth, for example, we recently ran a training course for new reps, and the very next day, on returning to work, they signed up 15 new members there and then.
“Across EE its apparent that there’s a real head of steam and enthusiasm for the CWU’s campaign for recognition building up – and that is translating itself into an impressive mailbag of new membership applications arriving at headquarters every single day.”
Meanwhile, the latest round of CWU Access Days has just drawn to a close, with scores of new memb
ers signed up at Doxford and North Tyneside last week – pushing the post-Conference recruitment tally above the psychologically important 1,000 mark.
That followed on from the 120 new joiners who signed up in Darlington, Greenock, Plymouth and Merthyr Tydfil the previous week.
John East concludes: “With our membership in EE growing the way that it is, we’re clearly on track to secure the same sort of membership in EE that we have in the rest of BT within a surprisingly short space of time.
“We see mass membership as an essential prerequisite to union recognition and the rapid growth bodes well for achieving union recognition in the near future.”