PCCW was caught in industrial disputes once again. Having tried very hard to seek direct negotiation over pay-cut issues with the company who only preferred to talk to another employee association called the Joint Staff Consultative Committee (JSCC), the PCCW Employees General Union (EGU) issued an open letter in which an ultimatum was sent to Alexander Arena, Group Managing Director of PCCW. The spokesperson of PCCW responded by saying that the management had always been engaging in talks with the members of JSCC.
EGU, a member union of the Federation of Trade Unions, had earlier issued a letter to the management demanding negotiations between the company and the representatives of the union to be held by 25 February. However, the company insisted on talking only to JSCC, a committee which comprises employees’ representatives from various departments. The chairman of EGU Leung Ting-to who is also a member of JSCC said that as the company had dictated all the proceedings, including date, time and venue of meetings with JSCC, these meetings could not yield effective discussions on controversial matters. The persons representing the company in the meetings did not have the authority to make decisions and could not deal with major issues like layoffs and pay-cuts, he added.
EGU further disclosed that within last week they were approached by six contract workers who sought assistance from the union after being dismissed by the company without any reason. They believed the figure will continue to rise. One of the contract staff, Ms Liu, who joined the company last May to undertake clerical duties in support of the sales force, had her contract renewed in January but received a telephone call last week telling her that her contract would terminate by the end of February and that she would not have to go to work starting in March. Ms Liu said at least four colleagues in her department received similar notifications but the supervisors did not give them any explanation and there were no hints prior to the notice. She felt that this was unfair. She was worried about the future and hoped that the company would employ her again. Nevertheless, she has already been prepared to find a new job elsewhere. translated by 開明