On Tuesday April 22nd a large group of BT Ireland staff, with support from other CWU members, held a public protest at the Corporate Head Office of British Telecom in Dublin. The protest was held to publicly highlight the fact the British Telecom is refusing to give collective bargaining rights to a large group of its staff simply because they are Irish. The Company, which runs its business on a 32-county – all Ireland basis, deals with the CWU in Northern Ireland and staff there enjoy the benefits of independent collective representation.
In recent years staff in the Republic have sought equal treatment with their colleagues elsewhere in the business and, through the CWU and internal Company mechanisms, they have asked to be given the same right to collective bargaining as their colleagues.
To date the Company has refused to honour this legitimate request and in doing so is not only denying staff a basic human right but is doing so on the basis that they are Irish.
BT staff felt the Company’s position on this issue was completely unacceptable as it was effectively a form of discrimination. Members wanted to highlight their cause as part of a campaign to try and get management to engage in meaningful dialogue with their Union.
As part of the campaign, CWU has erected billboard advertisements around the city centre as well as a number of ad mobiles that will be active over the coming weeks with the message – ‘Disconnect Discrimination’.
To send messages of support go to http://www.cwu.ie