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Sky embroiled in union website row

Daniel Thomas
Broadcaster Sky has denied trade union claims that it is preventing staff from accessing a union website which launched last month.

Earlier this week, broadcast union Bectu claimed that staff could not access the bectusky.org site from Sky offices, accusing the broadcaster of  “disrespecting” its employees.

Union officials said they discovered the problem when visiting Sky’s Osterley base earlier this month to publicise the site. Several checks were run to establish that there was no fault at the service provider’s end.

However, Robert Fraser, spokesman for Sky, said, “The sites are not blocked, I am looking at one of them right now. Access to the site is available from all Sky offices.”

Bectu official Sharon Elliott has, however, written to Marie-Helene Ferguson, the group director of human resources at Sky, asking for confirmation of the company's actions in relation to the site and to Bectu’s principal site, which, the union claimed, was also blocked.

"It is astonishing that any broadcaster - let alone a mature operator such as Sky - is, apparently, prepared to resort to such actions,” Elliott said.

“The company's business is communication and yet they apparently see fit to deny their staff access to a legitimate site. The company is in danger of making themselves look ridiculous.”

"This latest development is another example of the company's hostility to trade union organisation; worse still it shows the company's disrespect for its staff,” Elliot added.

“Sky staff should be free to access legitimate and responsible sites of their choice.”


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