BT WORKERS were waiting this week to hear the outcome of negotiations over the company's major restructuring project, NewGRID. The workers' CWU union has demanded a price for BT getting its plan through. It includes a demand for a cut in hours to 35 a week and a significant increase in annual leave. The company is willing to pay to get NewGRID but is not offering anywhere near enough.
It is offering pay and pension protection, but some activists worry that the way this is implemented could leave workers open to pressure from the company. The union's Broad Left leaders have not been conducting the kind of open debate needed in the union. The danger is that the company makes a few marginal changes to its offer and the union's leaders spring a quick ballot with a recommendation to accept. Activists should make clear that nothing short of the full claim will do.