Union calls off O2 strike ballot as jobs secured

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The CWU said it has reached an agreement with O2 and Capita that will see outsourced staff’s jobs and salaries protected

The communication workers union (CWU) has today (June 18) announced it has reached an agreement with O2 that better protects the jobs of call centre staff being outsourced to Capita.

CWU has called off a strike ballot of members over O2’s plans to outsource around 3,700 staff in its Bury, Glasgow, Leeds and Preston Brook centres following the deal, which it said ensures current terms and conditions of employment are protected “in their entirety and indefinitely”.

Leaked Capita documents had revealed the company was considering slashing hundreds of O2 call centre jobs and closes sites by 2015.

However, the CWU said today Capita denies there are any plans to close sites, and that in the event of closures, it is committed to redeploying all staff locally.

The agreement also states salaries will be maintained, regardless of whether people are retained at O2 or redeployed.

CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said: “We’ve secured far better protections on jobs, pay, pensions and terms and conditions for our members transferring to Capita than were originally on offer. People will not see their salaries suffer, they’ll still be eligible for promotion and pay increases as they would have at O2, their pensions are protected and they will keep a local job.

“This gives us greater confidence for our members. We expect Capita to honour this agreement and the protection of these staff. We will be there every step of the way pushing for the best possible working conditions for our members.”

O2 said: “We are pleased to have reached a positive conclusion to the discussions we’ve held with the CWU over the past few weeks. We have been committed from the outset to deliver the best possible outcome for our people and customers. The CWU has now been reassured and, having reached a mutual and shared understanding, O2 is now focused on ensuring that the transition to Capita is a positive one.”

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