The Communication Workers Union has reached an agreement with Telefonica after the O2 UK network agreed to outsource thousands of jobs to Capita. A CWU strike ballot that was due today has now been withdrawn.
Over 3,000 O2 call centre staff are being transferred to Capita as part of a 10-year outsourcing deal, while several hundred staff have chosen voluntary redundancy.
Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said “We don't agree with the principle of outsourcing jobs to Capita, and clearly neither do many O2 workers as 1,000 have opted to leave rather than work for Capita. The situation was made worse by the way in which O2 behaved, with rumours of outsourcing rife and mixed messages from the company. One thing we've never lost sight of is trying to get the best possible outcome for our members. It was the right decision to hold a strike ballot. We were forced into it because of the unusually short 41 day consultation period - completely inadequate given that this is one of the biggest outsourcing deals in UK history. The ballot definitely focused the minds of Capita and O2 and negotiations intensified following our decision to ballot and meant we were able to achieve an agreement yesterday.”
The union says it’s negotiated better deals on jobs, pay, pensions and conditions for members transferring to Capita.