Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

BT makes compulsory redundancies in Italy

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Today’s BT Sectional Conference heard in an emergency proposition that BT, which has a policy of no compulsory redundancies in the UK, a policy which is supported and closely monitored by its trade unions, has made a total of 320 redundancies in Italy, one-third of the total number of people employed there.

The Italian unions organised strike action for the following day where workers stopped work for the day at three sites and they also organised a picket of the BT Embassy in Rome. They are still trying to get BT back to the negotiating table.

On behalf of the BT Committee, Keith Flett said that the issue was of ‘great concern to us in the UK and anywhere else where BT employs people,’ particularly in a situation in which BT had apparently managed to elide round the Italian government’s policy of seeking to avoid job losses as a result of the recession. Keith also said that it was a concern that if BT thought it could get away with making compulsory redundancies with impunity in Italy, it may think it could get away with it elsewhere. This was ‘Not a question of defending jobs here or there, but everywhere where they are under threat.’

The motion was passed unanimously [edit on 26 June: it was the only motion carried unanimously all week], with the aim of Connect’s BT Sectional Conference being two-fold: to send a clear message of solidarity with our Italian colleagues and their trade unions; and also to send a clear message to BT that we know what they’re doing and that we’re not prepared to let them get away with it.

Edit: the Italian trade unions have reached a successful conclusion to their battle with the company – see my separate post].


Written by Calvin

23/06/2009 at 3:26 pm

Posted in Trade union issues

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  1. We’ve seen two rather different aspects of the impact of the EU this week. The, what look like successful, strikes in the UK by construction workers and the news of the strike at BT Italy. A pity however that media coverage has been extensive on the former and absent on the latter- except of course on this blog!

    keith flett

    26/06/2009 at 12:00 pm

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