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Staff at burglar alarm company vote for industrial action

Staff at Phonewatch voted overwhelmingly in support of the action over a pay dispute with the company.

Image: burglar alarm image via Shutterstock

STAFF AT PHONEWATCH, a burglar alarm systems company, today voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action over a pay dispute.

The workers are looking for increases to basic pay and the reinstatement of a range of incentive payments which have been axed by the new owners. Of the 89 votes cast in the ballot, 98 per cent were in support of industrial action.

Tony Delaney of the Communications Workers Union, which represents 80 per cent of employees, said Sector Alarm, which took over the company in May 2013, has “pursued an agenda to cynically exploit a benign industrial relations environment.”

Sector Alarm has also sought to dismantle a range of incentive and bonus schemes that had been secured by workers, including loyalty payments and agreed rates for engineering work outside of normal hours. The loss of these schemes is directly reducing worker pay at PhoneWatch.

Delaney said employees at the company had been central to the growth in sales of new systems. He added that workers have given the union a mandate to pursue industrial action up to and including strike.

The result of the ballot has been communicated to the company’s management and Delaney said the union is now moving ahead with the next steps in its campaign.

A spokesperson for the company was not available to comment at the time of publication.

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