O2 is returning to the negotiating table after over 1,000 workers voted against the operator’s 2% pay offer.
The operator has agreed to resume pay talks with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) after a consultative ballot saw O2's 2% pay offer rejected by a 9-1 vote of 36% of
O2 union members.
The two sides are expected to meet this week
to try and hammer out a deal.
The union is demanding a pay increase above the rate of inflation for staff in O2's retail, engineeering and technical divisions. Tthe rate of inflation is currently running at 4.4%.
The CWU is also calling on O2 to
introduce Pay Progression for retail staff.
O2 dismissed the consultative ballot results as
unrepresentative but confirmed it will resume the talks which have been
dragging on since the start of the year.
An O2 spokeswoman said: ‘Of all CWU members eligible
to vote, 36% chose to do so and 90% of them voted ‘no’. This is
equivalent to 1,100 people, around 15% of the total number affected by this pay
dispute. We’re naturally disappointed these people have rejected our offer
as we believe it is fair and reasonable, and we’ll continue to work with the
CWU to reach an agreement.’
A CWU spokeswoman said: ‘Clearly the ballot has made
O2 think again. We are hoping for an improved offer on pay and pay progression.
The offer of 2% is totally unacceptable, particularly with the company
delivering such healthy profit margins. Staff contribution to the company’s
success must be recognised. O2 is in no position to plead poverty.’
The CWU dismissed O2's view that the ballot was unrepresentative. A spokeswoman said: 'Turn out varies. This was a consultative ballot but turn out is always higher for a strike ballot.'