Cable and Wireless staff to vote on union recognition

Workers at Cable and Wireless are set to begin voting for union recognition amid accusations of union-busting tactics by the communications giant.

More than 350 ballot papers sent by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will today land on the doormats of Cable & Wireless field services, field engineers and support staff. The question they are being asked is: ‘Do you want the CWU to be recognised for the purposes of collective bargaining on your behalf?’

The CWU has been pursuing this recognition claim on behalf of members since May last year. Employment law stipulates that for union recognition to be granted, 40% of the workforce must vote, and the majority of them must vote ‘yes’.

Cable and Wireless came under fire last summer for hiring so-called union busters the Burke Group. The union claimed this had created a bad atmosphere between staff and management.

Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: “We are asking Cable & Wireless employees not to be fooled by the scare tactics of the company, to put aside any fears and vote for a future in which they have a say.

“We don’t understand Cable and Wireless’s hostile approach towards union recognition in the UK as they recognise trade unions all over the world in their global operations.”

The ballot closes on 9 June and the result will be announced two days later.

A spokesman for Cable & Wireless said: “We fully respect the legal right each colleague has to belong to a trade union or not. This is an individual matter for each person. We’re committed to promoting two-way dialogue throughout the company to ensure line managers and colleagues are fully informed.”

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