Workers vote for strikes at Airwave over redundancies

Nearly 200 workers at Airwave have voted to strike over compulsory redundancies at the company.

Nearly 200 workers at Airwave have voted to strike over compulsory redundancies at the company.

Two days of strike action will start on Friday 13 March after the company said it would need to resort to compulsory redundancies to cut its workforce by 11%.

Emergency telecoms network provider Airwave, which recently announced a contract with the London 2012 Olympics, wants to cut 95 jobs in response to the economic downturn. So far it has accepted 59 voluntary applications.

But the Communications Workers Union says the company has not been badly affected by the downturn.A spokeswoman said, "We have always had an understanding with the company that there would be no compulsory redundancies. It makes a real difference to staff if there is a voluntary approach.

"Airwave is not really being affected that badly by the credit crunch. So it is a question of the level of redundancies, but also the way that they are going about it. It is causing a lot of strife for workers."

The company says it is prepared for the strike action, and that it will be "unaffected".

Richard Bobbett, Airwave's CEO, said, "I am deeply disappointed that the CWU feel such action is necessary and I look forward to continued talks with the CWU in the not too distant future."

Grace Mitchell, national official at CWU with responsibility for Airwave, said, "This is a very clear result demonstrating the strength of feeling among Airwave members.

"We would hope that this result will make Airwave reconsider their compulsory redundancies and approach this difficult situation with more consideration for their staff."

A picket line will be in place at the Rugby network management centre during strike days.

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