#ENDGAME campaign enters new phase

Telecoms & Financial Services

The CWU’s fight against BT ‘s plans to outsource its Facilities Services division entered a new phase this week as a fourth week of protests coincided the start of the formal consultation period.

With the CWU certain that the proposed TUPE transfer on April 1 of 1,700 CWU represented grade employees to ISS and CBRE presents profound threats to job security and terms & conditions, the first meeting with both companies and BT has done nothing to allay the union’s concerns.

With management intent on discussing the minutiae of standard contractual and non-contractual terms and conditions rather than the ‘big picture’ issues that most concern members, the CWU has informed all parties that there will be no let-up in the union’s #ENDGAME campaigning.

Assistant secretary Sally Bridge explains: “The issues relating to job security, working hours, collective bargaining and the process of any job losses or redundancies will be discussed separately, and we are currently awaiting dates to meet ISS and CBRE early in the New Year.

“It is these issues that are in the forefront of members’ minds – as well as the pressing issue of what will happen to the Real Living Wage pay rates that BT has paid as a minimum – not least because ISS is well known for the part-time/ minimum wage model it operates.

“Therefore, at this point there remain significant issues that are outstanding and unresolved between us – and, as such, our campaigning on behalf of our members in BT Facilities Services will continue unabated.”

That campaigning took on a new direction this week, with the Facilities Services members across the company being sent suitably withering Christmas card for them to forward to the BT Board.

Pointing out that worries as to what the New Year holds in store will mean an ‘Unhappy Christmas’ in the households of many of those in scope, the card’s message is unequivocal:

Christmas is a time of joy and cheer

But not when TUPE looms in the New Year

Spare a thought for us as you tuck into your turkey

Because our Christmas table will not be so perky

Pointedly, the card ends with the  line: Wishing you a better festive season than we’ll have…


Fear and foreboding…

The profound worries that are weighing on the minds of Facilities Services members across the country continued to come across loud and clear this week at the final two scheduled protests of the current #ENDGAME campaign tour.

On Monday it was the turn of BT’s Alexander Bain House in Glasgow to feel the heat of the CWU’s wrath, with CWU protesters making their presence felt at the high profile city centre location.

Organised  by the CWU’s Scotland secretary Craig Anderson, the protest was particularly well attended – drawing support from a number of different CWU branches, including postal workers from Glasgow Amal , reps from the Edinburgh, Dundee & Borders branch and Glasgow Labour councillor Matt Kerr.

Assistant secretary Sally Bridge, who made a 1,000 mile round trip on the day to join the #ENDGAME protest just 48 hour before representing members at the  first formal consultation meeting in London, said: “There was a great turnout, and it particularly good to see the active participation of housekeepers, mailroom colleagues and engineers who came out in their breaks to join the protest.

“Many of the housekeepers I spoke to are fearful about their job security and hours being cut – reflecting the particular concerns of those in scope for TUPE transfer to ISS that we have heard up and down the country.”

Those concerns were articulated once again at today’s (Friday) protest outside BT’s Lincoln call centre – the 14th #ENDGAME protest and the final pre-Christmas event in a campaign that has reached every corner of the country over the last four weeks.

Speaking at the end of another spirited protest, Sally stressed that BT, ISS and CBRE would be making a profound mistake if they interpreted the end of the current campaign tour as signalling any weakening of the CWU’s determination to fight for members in BTFS.

She concluded: “Once again our housekeepers, security officers and BTFS engineers have been out telling us how absolutely outraged they are about the decision to outsource to CBRE and ISS by April 2019. They are worried about their terms & condition and they are worried about the future of their jobs.

“They’ve been telling us that they’re now going to have to go through an uncertain Christmas in a way that the people who’ve made this outrageous decision certainly won’t,

“BT – the CWU says to you that you need to carefully consider what you’re doing here – because the CWU is serious about defending our BTFS members and will continue to fight for  them every inch of the way.”

  • Videos from Glasgow and Lincoln,  as well as all the other protests and a Facebook Live session outlining all of the issues at stake, can be viewed on the CWU Facebook page.
  • #ENDGAME Christmas card