EMPLOYEE RELATIONS: BT’s call centre deal will end strike

BT and the Communication Workers Union have reached an agreement over
working practices in call centres, which the two hope will set a benchmark for
the rest of the industry.

The telecoms giant suffered a national strike of billing and fault repair
call centre staff on November 22, over the use of agency staff and what the
union called "heavy-handed management".

Many experts have predicted more strikes in call centres as they become more
unionised.

BT has committed to reduce the proportion of agency staff in billing centres
from 30 per cent to 13 per cent by April 2000.

It has promised a more relaxed attitude on call-handling times, a review of
the criteria for hiring agency staff and greater flexibility with annual leave.

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