The first conference of CWU reps in workplaces where the union is not yet recognised epitomised the spirit of the new, young and combative activists in the movement.
The conference showed they are making a serious attempt to shake up the union. Neoliberal workplace models were developed in call centres, and activists in these workplaces need to organise. Increasingly call centre models with targets and performance management are being used right across the industry.
Tracy, a rep from a major mobile phone company in the west of England, told the conference, “This union is going to have to change, union activists in our
non-recognised workplaces are coming through and the numbers in BT are dwindling. We’re increasing and the old BT union officers need to move over.”
There were more than 60 delegates from more than 20 companies at the conference.
Another major theme was building a network of activists from the conference. Delegate after delegate spoke about the importance of building this network to exchange ideas and information, but also as a foundation to defend CWU activists.
The conference raised £150 for the BA strikers and many delegates left contact details for Unite Against Fascism.
The third Call Centre Worker meeting takes place on Saturday 10 April from 7pm at the Artillery Arms, Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8ND