New redundancy bombshell in BT Global set to deliver untold anxiety this Christmas

Telecoms & Financial Services, BT

Friday 27th November 2020

More compulsory redundancies have been announced in BT Global, with the grim news set to be broken to the individuals affected in consultation meetings that will straddle the festive season.

Hot on the heels of  the division’s move last month to place five team members  at risk of compulsory redundancy (CR) as a direct result of a cost-cutting decision to offshore their work to Hungary and India, bosses have now revealed their intention to cull six more loyal employees because of contract changes with  two third party companies.

In one instance the CWU has been told the bloodletting is ‘necessary’ because of reduced demand for the service being provided – and, the other, because the contract has not been renewed.

However, given the comparatively tiny numbers involved in all three of the redundancy situations Global has announced to date, the union is incredulous that bosses have moved direct to CR processes before even attempting to use tried and tested headcount reduction mechanisms based on  voluntarism, redeployment.

“It’s a move that borders on arrogance, and if BT gets its way there’s no doubt in my mind that redeployment and pay and pension protection are dead,” warns CWU national officer for Global, Allan Eldred

                            Allan Eldred

“All of the people involved have highly transferable skills and should be redeployed rather than made compulsorily redundant.

“For decades – in fact for all of the 36 years since privatisation – when contracts were not renewed, demand dropped or people were made surplus for whatever other reason, those who did not wish to take voluntary leaver packages would be redeployed into alternative roles

“Those roles were not always identified instantaneously, but they were always found – and over that period and tens of thousands left the business voluntarily without the need for a SINGLE compulsory redundancy.

“By contrast, management are now effectively asking impacted individuals to find an alternative role over the Christmas period – when very few managers are working and no vacancies will be advertised – and if they don’t they will be made compulsorily redundant!”

Insisting that the change in management approach is entirely one of choice, not necessity, Allan continues: “It’s bad enough management is doing this at all – but the insensitivity of Global scheduling individual redundancy consultation meetings so they literally straddle Christmas is simply breathtaking.”

“The union is continuing to discuss management’s actions with the company, but this is a decision that has been made at the highest level of BT by people who never have to see the consequences that their actions have on real people with real families.

The CWU national officer for BT Global and Enterprise concludes: “It’s now official that no team member is safe. This could happen to any of us – and that’s why every CWU member needs to ‘count themselves in’ and vote ‘YES’ in the ongoing consultative ballot.

Your job will likely depend on it!”