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CWU steps up action over BT jobs-to-India

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BT's new workers in India will be earning just 70p an hour while the monster telco rakes in 40p for each and every directory enquiry it receives.

So says the Communications Workers Union (CWU), which is stepping up its campaign to try force BT to back-down over plans to move thousands of jobs to India.

It's calling for another "Day of Protest" on March 20 outside all 34 of BT's Operator Centres following a similar demo earlier this week.

The union is also urging workers to write directly to BT chairman, Sir Christopher Bland, to ensure that he's fully aware of the strength of opposition among staff over the move.

In a letter to its members the CWU makes it clear that it has "no issue with India or Indian workers". Instead, its gripe lies solely at the feet of BT, which it claims is a "UK company that derives its profits from UK customers and is therefore obliged to support the UK economy by employing UK workers".

"Every job created in India will be a job lost in the UK," said the union.

The CWU insists that moving the work to India will not benefit anyone in the UK except BT. It claims that a person working for BT in India will receive just 70p an hour while "BT will still be raking in 40p a call".

Said CWU deputy general secretary, Jeannie Drake: "The Union is determined to exploit every avenue to stop work moving to India. BT appears to think that any such campaign will be of short duration, but we are committed to fight as long as it takes to stop this dangerous development.

"If BT does not take a more reasoned stance, we will have no hesitation in sanctioning industrial action."

Separately, Ananova reports that 13,000 BT engineers are being balloted on strike action over a new productivity scheme.

The CWU claims the scheme is "divisive and provocative" but BT insists almost half of engineers have already signed up to it. ®

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