UNI Global Union Alliance of Liberty Global Trade Unions Demands Job Security and a Stop to Lowering Labor Standards
From the Caribbean to Europe, UNI Global Union Alliance of Liberty Global Trade Unions Demands Job Security and a Stop to Lowering Labor Standards
UNI Global Union is a global federation of trade unions in the services sectors, including telecommunications, with more than 20 million members
in more than one 140 countries throughout the world. The employees of Cable & Wireless and Columbus Communications, now part of Liberty
Global, are among some of the Liberty Global work places that we represent throughout the Caribbean and Europe. We have organized a meeting in the
Bahamas with trade unions from 7 countries throughout the Caribbean and Europe to speak with one voice, addressing the concerns we have with the
practices of Liberty Global.
We categorically repudiate Liberty Global’s use of outsourcing and mergers to lower labor standards, make work ever more precarious, and justify
continued redundancies. Here in the Bahamas we call upon Bahamas Telecommunication Company, partly owned subsidiary of Liberty Global, to end the use of independent contracts that it unilaterally implemented for its technicians, robbing them of job security, pension, health insurance, paid sick days and vacation.
In addition we call for the regularization of all retail staff working under the guise of private ownership with lower labor standards, yet still wearing the
same BTC shirts and carrying out the same functions as their counterparts in BTC flagship stores. Throughout the Caribbean and in Europe, we have seen this same pattern of behavior where workers are outsourced and find themselves doing the same job for the same company, but for lower pay and without job security.
In addition, Liberty Global through its subsidiary Cable and Wireless is using acquisitions, like its merger with Columbus Communications (FLOW), to
justify reducing pay and benefits. This is at times contrary to national laws and industrial practices in the countries where they operate and demonstrates
disrespect for our governments, and is against the values UNI represents.
These practices have led to repeated labor conflicts in Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Bahamas, Grenada and Jamaica, just to name a few. These conflicts are avoidable distractions that threaten Liberty Global’s competitiveness in the region.
We call upon Liberty Global management to engage in a global partnership with its workers through UNI Global’s affiliated trade unions by meeting with our unions as a united group. There will always be issues, but we can only solve problems through dialogue and not conflict and we must all work toward the strengthening of the company.
Liberty Global unions throughout the world are united in an alliance and will be meeting and taking action together to ensure the rights of Liberty Global workers are respected and protected. UNI Global affiliates from Europe and the Caribbean also call on Cable Bahamas to recognize without delay, that the BCPOU is the sole bargaining agent for the long-suffering employees. It has been 20 years and enough is enough.