Recruitment boost as Supply Chains goes for growth


Membership levels are on the up in BT Supply Chains on the back of a major new contract win and more agency conversions.

Following on the 90 BT contracts that were issued to agency staff working in transport operations, Forward Stock Locations and at Magna Park in response to long-standing demands by the CWU, the division has now agreed to offer permanent contracts to a further 40 agency drivers in transport operations.

While some are already CWU members, CWU assistant secretary Brendan O’Brien is confident that the message will not be lost on the remainder that their cherished agency conversions have stemmed directly from concerted union efforts to ensure that any roles that are clearly ‘permanent’ are covered by in-house resource.

Meanwhile, another recruitment bonanza is already underway amongst former Scottish & Southern Electric (SSE) employees who were recently TUPEd into Supply Chains following a recent contract win.

The 74 transferees, who the CWU now has recognition for, work at SSE sites at Thatcham in Berkshire and Motherwell near Glasgow, already stand to benefit from CWU involvement in their TUPE transfer because of the union’s success in persuading BT that next year’s 3 per cent pay award will apply in full to this group.

“The result is that, even before they arrived in BT, they knew that they would benefit in 2019 from the second year of the two-year deal that was secured by the union this spring,” explains Brendan.

“That doesn’t automatically happen in TUPE situations – but we asked for it and got it – meaning that they’ve already had a very positive taster of what membership of the CWU can achieve.”

Tellingly, every single one of 10 former SSE employees who were present at the Motherwell site when it was first visited by the CWU’s Glasgow & Motherwell branch recently immediately joined the union – and follow-up visits are scheduled to mop up the rest.

The Central Counties & Thames Valley branch is hoping for similar results when it visits the Thatcham site this week.