Relief in Cardiff and Taunton following discussions with GXO

Telecoms & Financial Services, Openreach

Representations made by the union have secured a reprieve for members at two depots that had been earmarked for closure under the outsourcing of BT Supply Chain warehouse and transport operations that concluded on May 1.

Ever since the TUPE transfer of 288 Supply Chain staff to logistics giant GXO was announced in February, the CWU has been questioning both the business case and practicality of plans to relocate work conducted at the Cardiff and Taunton sites to a GXO facility at Avonmouth.

And last week – 25 days after their transfer to GXO became effective impacted employees received the welcome news that a root and branch review will now take place before any final decision is made on the fate of their workplaces.

Commenting on the development – which secures the future of both sites until detailed data is available from a new TMS system that won’t be introduced until late 2023 – CWU assistant secretary Tracey Fussey said: “This is a huge relief  for our members at the Cardiff and Taunton depots and we are very pleased that GXO have reviewed their position on these sites following representations made throughout the TUPE discussions. GXO are very keen to ensure that any decision is made upon precise data and this will allow them to do so”.

“It’s also highly encouraging that that GXO has engaged so positively with the CWU, listening to our legitimate concerns and acting decisively upon them”.

“From the outset we made it clear that we believed the proposed transfer of work from the Cardiff and Taunton depots to Avonmouth would have resulted in an impossible commute for many of those impacted – and that the smooth-running distribution of crucial supplies for Openreach that they help facilitate risked being negatively impacted.

“As such, we asked for a careful reconsideration of the business case of the changes being proposed under TUPE measures on the transfer from BT Supply Chain – and, to its credit, that is precisely what GXO has delivered.”
The breakthrough coincides with encouraging  progress in early talks aimed at finalising a new recognition agreement covering collective bargaining rights across the whole of the union’s new GXO bargaining unit – and the first formal meeting with GXO management is scheduled to take place at Magna Park on Monday June 13.

Tracey concludes: “After some very positive and professional preliminary discussions with GXO we’re optimistic we’ll be able to forge a good working relationship with the company that will bring about positive results for our members.”