Union battlebus doorsteps BSkyB

BECTU is offering advice and recruiting members at BSkyB's Osterley base.

A union bus is due to be parked outside the satellite broadcaster's base in West London for four days from Monday July 9. BECTU officials will be on tap to answer questions about employment rights, as well as offering union membership.

Doors open first thing on Monday morning until 2100, and the bus will be staffed from 0700 until 2100 from Tuesday to Thursday.

Efforts to recruit staff into the union at BSkyB's call centres in Scotland have attracted so many new members that BECTU is poised to lodge a legal claim for recognition under new legislation that guarantees bargaining rights for unions if they win support from enough staff in a workplace.

Several call centre staff in Scotland have attended union training courses, and union officials say they are trying to develop a positive relationship with managers in Dunfermline and Livingston. Many regional engineers employed by BSkyB have also joined BECTU.

As part of the union's blitz on Osterley, the largest centre for BSkyB staff, officials will be handing out pledge cards which enable employees to indicate whether they want BECTU to represent their collective interests.

These will be added to a petition which BECTU hopes to present to the government's Central Arbitration Council, the body which awards unions bargaining rights where employers have turned them down.

6 July 2001