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CWU activist suspended at Pell and Pales April 20, 2010

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EMERGENCY MEETING; Wednesday 21st April; From 9.15pm; At the Royal Star, 220 City Road (past Moorfields Eye Hospital)

This afternoon (April 19th) CWU activist and Staff Representative, Sam Deane was suspended pending an investigation.
There was another staff rep present whilst Sam was informed by the HR Director, alongside the Campaign Centres Director (CCD) and the OS2 Campaign Centre Manager (CCM), the reason that the disciplinary procedure was being invoked against him.

This follows four previous high-profile sackings of union activists at Pell and Bales, each one of them re-instated following a campaign. (more…)

Two call centre workers’ meetings in London April 20, 2010

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Two important meetings took place on Saturday 10th in the capital as call-centre workers met to discuss the campaign for union rights in their industry.

First, the CWU Pell and Bales Section AGM, where the guest speaker, a CWU rep from a Docklands-based telecoms firm talked about how he and his engineer workmates won union recognition in 2003.

He explained how when he started work there,  there was no union. But soon there was a core of a few activists that started to  organise  and they found that the biggest recruiter to the union was the management. There were a lot of grievances, particularly with pay.

London engineers could not understand why it was that their London weighting allowance and shift allowance were tied up in their pay, yet their pay matched that of engineers doing the same job in Manchester. “I know that Central London is in Zone 1,” he told one manager, “but what zone is Manchester in?”

As the campaign intensified, management offered a shift allowance of £2,000.  But this was seen as a victory and workers confidence grew and the CWU members at Telecity won recognition in 2003.

Buoyed by references to Mark Serwotka’s , the PCS union leader, interview in the Guardian, headlined ‘Call centres are the new dark satanic mills’, the AGM resolved to campaign for pay increases across all sites, oppose cuts in hours for zero hour staff and press for recognition.

The AGM was followed by the Call-Centre Worker meeting. Casual zero hour contracts were a real problem. Leading off the discussion, a worker from a market research company, told of how the company has no work for their agents for six weeks.

A guest speaker from the Right To Work Campaign, also a bus driver and Unite rep in London, spoke about how important Busworker has been in organising workers and hopes to make links with Call-Centre Worker. He also encouraged those assembled to sign up for the Right To Work Emergency conference in May, which he believed would be vital in organising resistance to whichever Government tries to attack workers living standards and public services.

An editorial board of eight workers in the industry was elected for Call-Centre Worker. As Call-Centre Worker expands, we hope to get more call-centre workers involved on the board.

Share your experiences on this blog anonymously; write to londoncallcentres@gmail.com.

CWU @ Pell and Bales newsletter April 2010 April 12, 2010

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The latest issue of the bulletin for workers at Pell and Bales charity call centres is now available. It is produced by CWU members. Click below for the PDF

Email londoncallcentres@gmail.com if you would like to contribute an (anonymous) article about working at P&B or any other call centre. Also get in touch if you would like to be posted printed copies.

10th April Call Centre Worker meeting April 9, 2010

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Important Notice

There is a change to the venue for the Pell and Bales section Annual General Meeting and the Call-Centre Worker Meeting on Saturday 10 April.

The Call-Centre Worker Meeting starts at 7pm at The Royal Star, 220 City Road, London (nearest tube Old St) just past Moorfields Eye Hospital.