O2 could face strike action over its decision to outsource call centre jobs to Capita, with the Communication Workers Union claiming trust with the operator is at 'rock bottom'.
The operator announced last month that it was transferring 3,700 jobs to Capita from call centres in Bury, Glasgow, Leeds and Warrington. However, reports later revealed Capita could retain only 1,370 of the transferred staff at the end of 2015. O2 said at the time that this was one scenario under consideration.
The result of the ballot is due on 18 June and the CWU has been protesting the decision with union members brandishing placards saying 'Done by Dunne'. Andy Kerr, CWU deputy secretary, said: 'This ballot is about protecting decent UK jobs. We’ve been forced to hold a ballot because of the unusually short consultation period and lack of progress on assurances over job security, terms and conditions, and the future of sites.
'We wanted to have a negotiated way forward but our hands have been tied. We’re already two weeks into the 41 day consultation period and we’ve made no progress at all on key issues.
'Trust is at rock-bottom, made worse by media speculation around site closures and offshoring work. Our members don’t know who to trust and we feel like we’ve been lied to by o2 and Capita. We’ve been left no option by the company but to hold this ballot and they know this.'
An O2 spokesman said the operator was 'disappointed' by the CWu's move. He said: 'We are committed to meeting the CWU as frequently as necessary to discuss concerns with the aim of reaching agreement and avoiding the ballot and any subsequent industrial action.'
Author: Graeme Neill