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90% strike vote sends warning to Romec

Communication Workers Union (CWU) members have voted by more than nine to one in favour of strike action at facilities and maintenance company Romec in protest at “bullying” managers. Romec, a joint venture between multi-national Balfour Beatty and Royal Mail, provides services including electrical, plumbing, security and cleaning to Royal Mail, Post Office and Parcelforce. The dispute centres on allegations of management misuse of information from tracking devices in engineers’ vans and hand held devices used by engineers, amongst other issues including pay. Over 700 staff are affected by the dispute and returned a ballot result of 92 per cent in favour of strike action.

CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said:

This is an overwhelming ballot result which shows how strongly our members feel about the controversial issue of misusing tracking devices. While our members are clearly prepared to take strike action, we are now asking Romec management for urgent talks to resolve this issue and avoid the need for strike action.”

Ray Ellis, CWU national official and lead negotiator with Romec, explained:

Given the potential for misuse, these tracking devices must be used in accordance with clear procedures to protect individuals and maintain compliance with the law, including not using the data to initiate disciplinary action.

However, Romec has stated in a memo to its buildings service maintenance engineers, its intention to use them for that purpose. We have repeatedly sought assurances from Romec that the company will abide by national agreements, but Romec has not been prepared to give these assurances and the union has been left with no alternative but to ballot for action. We hope the company will come to the table to avoid the need for strike action.”

In addition to the issue of trackers, CWU is seeking to resolve a number of other matters, including pay, engineering bonus, attendance patterns and working practices.

One Comment

  1. Kevin says:

    When I was a member of the UCW, one predecessor of the CWU, I was subject to a written report that management described “as petty minded vindictiveness and jealousy”. The report was fuelled by that and my activity as an official of the union, I had one of the authors disciplined as a liar. When I went to Union for legal help I was told by one official I could get legal advice by paying any solicitor and another told me they had difficulty in defending me as I had done nothing wrong.
    I wonder why I was refused help then but now the Union offers all this assistance?

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