Our Hours campaign online petition launched

Telecoms & Financial Services

The CWU’s high profile campaign against the unfair treatment of an ever-growing percentage of Openreach engineers who are forced give hours of their time for free every week steps up a gear today (Friday) with the launch of an online petition.

Already thousands of members from across the company have signed a traditional paper petition – reflecting mounting anger at discrepancies in contracts that see some employees compensated for their travelling time, but others for work for up to 10 hours a week for nothing.

Frustration has been building since September 2012 when the business put new recruits outside the existing Parking at Home policy, with no agreed commute time.

But since the launch of the union’s Our Hours campaign, the scale of the problem has been brought into even sharper focus – with many recognising for the first time the full extent to which they are being disadvantaged by a toxic combination of Personal Travel Time (PTT) and abuses of the Flex system by some managers.

Just yesterday the union issued urgent advice to members across the business on ways they can minimise the loss – with a detailed explanation of how they can spot whether they are being doubly disadvantaged by the adjustment of timesheets by some managers who outrageously seem to regard those on PTT contracts as being required to give an extra 60 minutes at the end of each day in travel time come what may. (See ‘Devil’s in the detail of Our Hours robbery’ story here)

Within less than six hours of the email broadcast over 12,000 members had viewed the advice, and with the clamour for change fast becoming deafening the union has launched an online petition to allow those not yet reached in face-to-face meetings to express their dismay at Openreach’s current position.

CWU national officer for Openreach Davie Bowman explains: “It’s already clear that the anger of those directly impacted by PTT is shared by their colleagues in desk roles, as well as those on pre-September 2012 contracts. CWU members have a proud record of recognising injustices when they see ones perpetuated against their colleagues – and for good reason too.

“There has to be a danger that, with more and more people effectively having their working week extended by PTT, the company will be tempted no ‘normalise’ this unacceptable situation by trying to extend it to everybody.

“Although, for those in desk roles, we have a very clear ‘log-on/ log-off’ policy, which means people log-on at their official start time, if the company forms a view that this is the right way to go you have to wonder how long it will be before it starts to suggest that desk workers should come in at, say, 7.30am to start at 8am – expecting a bit of free time from them as well.

“That’s why it’s crucial that those not directly impacted by PTT support the union’s fight for those who are – because if we can win the argument that PTT is wrong for those who already have it in their contracts, we’ll be securing an important principle for those who are not currently affected.

Davie concludes: “Ultimately this is about standing together for what is right – and that’s why everyone in Openreach should show solidarity with their PTT contract colleagues by supporting our campaign petition and signing the CWU’s Our Hours petition immediately.

Click here to sign the Our Hours petition.