Unanimous vote to ballot at AOL
22 November 2006
NUJ members at AOL (UK) have decided unanimously to ballot for industrial action over compulsory redundancies and lack of consultation.
The chapel was told in September of the company's intention to cut jobs in the run-up to the sale of the Internet Service Provider to Carphone Warehouse. Members in the Online Customer Experience department will still be employed by AOL (UK), owned by Time Warner, but although they have been told that their department will be affected, they have not been told how.
The chapel, who have had recognition since 2005, are keen to work with management to minimise the effects of any redundancies. However, they feel that their request for voluntary redundancies hasn't been taken seriously.
Members are frustrated that a 90-day consultation period (due to end on 18 December) so far has not been meaningful. The only thing they have been told is that the company will not accept any voluntary redundancies, and this has caused widespread anger and deep concern.
At a well attended chapel meeting yesterday, they felt they had no option but to ballot for industrial action.
Jenny Lennox, NUJ Assistant Organiser for New Media, said:
“Some NUJ members at AOL are very worried about their futures and they are receiving no reassurance from management. Things need not have got to this point had there been better communication but staff are feeling confused and anxious and felt they had to act to defend themselves."
Notice of the intention to ballot was sent to management today. The ballot will commence on Wednesday 29 November, and the result will be known on Wednesday 13 December.