Socialist Worker

Openreach: fury over holiday attacks AND Union criticises Vivid Housing

Issue No. 2703

Openreach workers do crucial jobs

Openreach workers do crucial jobs (Pic: CWU)


The CWU union has expressed its anger and dismay at telecommunications firm Openreach’s decision to announce unagreed changes to its approach to annual leave.

Openreach, a functional division of BT, maintains telephone cables, ducts, cabinets and exchanges.

The union says leave changes were announced in “a heavy handed communique to staff who are working flat out to keep the country’s vital communication infrastructure up and running”.

It adds, “Not only was the missive condescending and authoritarian in its tone, but no attempt had been made to consult with the union on the practicality and reasonableness of new demands as to how and when annual leave should be taken at a time of coronavirus.

CWU national officer for Openreach, Davie Bowman, told union members, “The company continually tells you what an exceptional job you are doing—and that the roles you carry out are ‘key’.

“So why would the same company not work with the CWU and yourselves to look at annual leave and how that is managed?”


Vivid Housing threaten staff with discplinary action over social distancing compaints

The GMB union has criticised Vivid Housing for threatening workers with disciplinary action after they raised concerns about social distancing

Trades people working for Vivid—a housing association covering Portsmouth, Eastleigh, Aldershot and Basingstoke—were told to carry on working despite an industry regulatory body saying their work could be put on hold.

Workers say management won’t reply to their concerns via email. This has led to several employees exercising their right to withdraw themselves from what they consider to be dangerous working conditions.

Some have now been threatened with disciplinary proceedings. The union—and the wider movement—must back them all the way.

 


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