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Pay gap protest at Blackburn telephone exchange

09 Nov 2017, 19:07 ... _exchange/

PROTESTORS from the Communications Workers Union were today outside the BT telephone exchange in Blackburn campaigning to end the pay gap between agency and company staff.

Workers going into the office were leafleted over the ‘unfair’ difference in wages between people doing the same job.

The campaigners were joined Blackburn Labour MP Kate Hollern as they started the day long protest.

National CWU organiser Tracey Fussey said: “This is an absolute disgrace.

“It is completely unfair that BT staff and agency staff sitting next to each other and doing same job should get different rates of pay.

“There are 100 agency staff at Blackburn getting between 50pence and several pounds an hour less than the 300 BT staff, with a similar situation at the company’s Accrington office. They are on special contract which also are easier to terminate.

“Workers doing the same job and sitting next to each other deserve the same pay and conditions.

“This protest today is part of a national three week campaign to ‘Close the Gap’ and end those precarious employment contracts.

“All workers at Blackburn Telephone Exchange deserved the right to be able to get a mortgage and enjoy life.”

Blackburn full-time official Saf Khan said: “Paying different rates to different people for the same job is simply wrong and 100 per cent unfair.”

A BT spokeswoman said: “The company is committed to fair rates of pay for anyone working on behalf of BT Group.

“Given the nature of our business, we need to get the right balance between permanent and flexible roles, and we achieve this partly through the use of agency staff. Pay levels for agency workers are determined by the agency and the requirements in the relevant legislation, and will vary depending on the role.”

“She added: “ BT remains committed to creating permanent jobs and in the past year we’ve converted around 1,000 UK agency workers to BT contracts.”

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