Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Vodafone reaction to Connect's Trade Union recognition ruling

An article in ZDNet today almost made me choke on my cornflakes in disbelief. It contained the first Vodafone reaction to Connect's success in Regional Operations North that I’ve seen.

A Vodafone spokesman said: "Vodafone UK engages positively and constructively with unions. Vodafone UK also remains convinced the most effective form of engagement with its employees is through direct engagement and things that we use at the moment include recorded messages, online information, printed newsletters as a way of keeping employees informed but performance dialogues are also held with each employee twice yearly as well as monthly meetings with line managers."

The spokesman added: "Most areas of the company regularly hold forum meetings and during those questions can be asked of senior management, in addition to road shows and visits from the executive team, so we try and be as transparent and open as we can."

This spokesman certainly doesn't work for the Newbury based mobile phone operator we all know and love!

Vodafone has consistently refused to engage with Connect, I am unaware of a single occasion anywhere in the company where this has happened!!! Unless constructive engagement includes representing members at grievance hearings!

During the recognition process Vodafone stalled at every opportunity, even after it had been demonstrated that 50%+ of the workers were members.

Vodafone workers need a trade union because of the way they are taken advantage of by their employer. Now the company has no choice but to listen to workers, and this will ultimately be positive for the company.

The recorded messages, online information and printed newsletters the spokesman talks of is nothing to do with direct engagement, they appear to be more of an attempt at brain washing! Engagement would involve a 2 way dialogue and these media are hardly conducive to that. The company appear to believe if you tell the employee something enough times they will believe it. I guess mind control comes cheaper than investing in people.

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