the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

28 February 2012

BECTU has written to the editor of Campaign in reply to an article first published online on 16 February 2012 regarding a dispute between the union and the Advertising Producers' Association.

Martin Spence, assistant general secretary, has insisted that the union is willing to meet at ACAS to resolve the dispute and he calls upon the APA to commit fully to the process. The dispute arises from a claim by electricians for time and a half for  Saturday working submitted last summer.

BECTU's letter to the editor reads:

Dear Editor

I’m writing in response to your story (Campaign 17th February 2012) on the APA’s approach to the police about alleged intimidation of Czech electricians. The story states that the APA has approached the police as “a result” of its dispute with BECTU over electricians’ pay for Saturday work.  

For the record, we want to sort the dispute out and are happy to involve ACAS. We have never said anything to the contrary.

However, the situation is not helped by the APA’s recent antics. On 2nd February we received a letter from their solicitors making broad allegations against the union and its members. I replied rejecting the allegations. Subsequently, Steve Davies suggested that ACAS get involved. This was a welcome move – but before I had even had an initial discussion with the ACAS official I learned from Campaign that the APA is now calling in the police.

I repeat – we want to sort this out. So let’s stop the antics with lawyers and police and fix a date to meet at ACAS.

Martin Spence, Assistant General Secretary


Campaign's article published online 16 March 2012

BECTU is also receiving reports that some production companies are making specific requests for non-union labour to side-step the union's claim for overtime payments.  "Anyone treated less favorably on the grounds of trade union membership has a claim for discrimination," explained Martin Spence.

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