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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 August 2020

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

BT office, photo

BT office, photo   (Click to enlarge)

CWU member

The site closure programme currently being planned by British Telecom (BT) will have devastating effects on workers in those areas.

BT announced that it would close most of its current 300 sites, leaving many office-based staff in a precarious position. Towns and cities losing the jobs will suffer if BT is able to get away with this plan.

Engineers who become unable to work in their current roles due to disabilities are moved to office work. In many areas this will not be an option if the closures take place, so it will affect all BT workers.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has a no compulsory redundancy agreement with BT. But there is no way that some workers will not be forced into accepting redundancy if they are expected to travel long distances to new workplaces - increasing their working day, and at a huge cost.

The plans need to be opposed and workers prepared for action if BT doesn't back off. The CWU needs to expose this plan to the media both nationally and in local areas, to start campaigns to end the plans.

Home working has also been dismissed as an option, despite BT using it during the Covid pandemic. The fight needs to start now!

BT has used many actions to divide workers, including home parking for engineers and selling off sections of the business to contractors.

We need to unite the workers for a victory, and get public ownership of the telecoms industry. Get the fight on the road. No to site closures. We need to build a campaign for a national strike ballot and vote Yes in a ballot for action.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 5 August 2020:


News

NHS pay: 15% for all now

From first wave to second? Capitalism's Covid failures

Capitalism's 'vaccine war' shows need for socialist cooperation

Tories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system


What we think

Labour payouts: unions must discuss political representation


Workplace news

Wales: GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

PCS union: Reject longer DWP opening hours

'First you clap us then you slap us': hundreds march for NHS pay rise

Sick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

Workplace news in brief


No going back

What would socialist universities look like?


International

Cuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo

Anniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally


Campaigns

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

Young Socialist day of action

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

The Socialist summer schedule


 

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Related links:

BT:

triangleCWU BT ballot - time for action now!

triangleBT Openreach engineers step up the pressure with five-day strike action

triangleThousands of BT workers to ballot for strike action

triangleOpenreach and EE: Massive vote for action

triangleFight BT redundancies

Strike:

triangleEstablishing factory sales of the Socialist in Leicester

triangleSt Mungo's strikers fight on

triangleGo Ahead offers deal to Manchester bus drivers

triangleBeal High School strike against sick policy resumes

Closures:

triangleStop domestic abuse service closures in Brighton

triangleArcadia and Debenhams closures: Nationalise to save jobs and pensions

triangleSainsbury's and Argos: Closures, cuts and soaring sales

Workers:

triangleHartlepool sums up Labour crisis

triangleDefend the right to protest - to resist bosses' attacks

CWU:

triangle39 'postmasters' cleared - now clear the rest

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