Unions lobby mobile firm’s AGM over pay dispute

Unions representing workers at mobile communications firm O2 will accuse senior management of awarding themselves “fat cat” salary packages while refusing pay rises for many staff at the company’s AGM today.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will be out in force at the meeting in Reading, bringing six huge tins of cat food bearing the slogan “Nine out of 10 fat cats prefer O2″.

The union claims the company is to offer different annual pay awards based on what type of contract staff are on. Workers on new O2 contracts are being offered performance-related pay increases of up to 12%.

But about 1,000 employees on contracts carried over from when the company was owned by BT have been told their pay will be frozen. Instead, they are being offered a bonus of up to 5.5% based on performance.

According to the union, senior executives have seen their pay increase considerably.

The CWU, which represents more than 3,000 O2 staff, is hoping to reveal the results of a consultative ballot of staff on Monday 1 August in an attempt to get the management back to the negotiating table. If that fails, the union said it would ballot members on industrial action.

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