O2 has been accused of ‘dragging its feet’ on pay negotiations by the Communication Workers Union (CWU).
The accusation comes in an open letter from CWU assistant secretary Sally Bridge to Martin Lally, head of employee relations at O2. The letter refers to the CWU consultative ballot of O2 workers in April, which rejected the company’s final offer of a wage hike of 2.75% in 2012 and 2.5% in 2013. The union is demanding a pay rise of 2.75% with the right to have it reviewed after one year.
In the letter, Bridge said the delay in further negotiations is ‘unhelpful and unacceptable,’ and demands to know ‘why it is that the company will not meet the union and why no progress has been made for significant weeks’.
Arguing that O2 staff delivered ‘second to none’ customer service and co-operated ‘during a very difficult restructuring programme’, Bridge questioned the operator’s motives. She said: ‘We believe that the company is dragging its feet on this important matter.’ She called on O2 to consider the ‘potential damage’ the delay could bring.
An O2 spokesman denied the operator had held up negotiations. She said: ‘Our pay deal offer is competitive when compared to pay settlements in industry generally and at a time of continued economic uncertainty we have to balance the aspirations of the union against the tough financial environment we are operating in. Our dialogue with the CWU continues and following a series of meetings we are considering next steps.’