CBS Outdoor

Vultures Swoop on Posters Business

Published on: Sat, 27/07/2013 - 14:08

CBS has sold its advertisement-posting business to private equity company Platinum.

It promises that things will remain the same for the workers who post the adverts. So that will me more of the same rubbish pay and job insecurity, then - more of a threat than a promise!

This contract has passed through the hands of numerous private contracts since London Underground decided to stop doing the work itself - remember TruForm? or Viacom? Now the latest owner, multinational corporation CBS, has decided that it's not interested in the outdoor advertising business any more, it has sold the contract to another company that is not interested in the outdoor advertising business either. Platinum is a private equity company, so is only interested in making as much money as possible.

TfL/LUL should bring advert-posting back in-house, along with every other contracted-out piece of our Tube.

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CBS Outdoor Demand Safe Equipment for their Job

Published on: Mon, 01/06/2009 - 18:50

CBS Outdoor workers, who put posters up on the Tube, are being made to use a tool to smooth the posters out, which puts a lot of pressure on their hands and is causing them damage. The company recognise this, and has ordered some replacements from the USA. But as they say, the USA seems like a different universe the amount of time it's taking!

In the meantime they must insist on their right not to be injured in the course of their work. If they refused to put the posters up, the company would have no cash coming in, management might start to take their workers' welfare seriously!

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Defend RMT reps

Published on: Thu, 15/01/2009 - 17:16

RMT reps continue to be sacked in an attempt to pick apart the union.

A ballot will soon start on CBS outdoor to reinstate sacked rep Brendan Judge. He was sacked before Xmas, without evidence, on trumped up charges. Management’s motive is that Brendan played a key role in the successful first ever strike on CBSO last year. A new American, anti-worker management have come in who have been making life tough for all reps in CBS. Management want to push through loads of changes this year: they don't want the communication, organisation and assertiveness the reps have built up to stand in their way, so they are picking off key activists.

Brendan knows he’s been sacked for being a good rep, not a bad one. He has support where he works and people will be campaigning hard to strike again – this time for Brendan. The threat of a strike should increase Brendan’s chance of the appeal against his sacking ruling in his favour.

Meanwhile, cleaning companies continue their vicious attack on the union. ISS threatened to sack Clara, cleaners’ grade secretary and have already sacked cleaner rep, Mary Boakye. A demonstration of RMT and other campaigners stormed ISS offices last week while the disciplinary and appeal hearings were going on. Clara saved her job.

Mary remains sacked, accused of sleeping on duty, whereas she had actually sustained an injury to her eye. Management’s evidence is shaky and contradictory. But no matter: they have sacked her anyway. A ‘Defend Mary’ campaign has begun: there was a second demo on Wednesday and there is a meeting next week. If management will stoop to these low tactics to break the union, then the union must respond. It is good that a campaign is underway: a welcome change from the many cleaners’ reps and members who have been sacked without a fight since last year’s cleaners’ strike. Where Mary works, the union is demoralised and it would be hard to defend her job industrially as CBS outdoor are doing. But that’s what we must aspire to do. Cleaners are not a lower cast of workers, although they are some of the most exploited workers in this city. We are all in the same union and there should be no ‘second rate’ tactics for cleaners. Hopefully this campaign will build cleaners’ confidence. Coupled with a forthcoming recruitment drive we will start building towards a situation where management are too afraid to sack cleaners.

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Defend Brendan Judge!

Published on: Tue, 09/12/2008 - 17:20

Brendan Judge, RMT rep on CBS Outdoor who put the posters up on the Underground, has been sacked following a disciplinary hearing.

Brendan was key to organising the very successful strike on CBS in the summer and management have been victimising him ever since. The problems for Brendan started when management put him on a new shift that made life really difficult for him. When he put in a grievance against them, they came up with a load of trumped-up charges.

This is an obvious instance of victimisation of an effective trade union rep and activist. Work needs to start now on organising another strike on CBS Outdoor to get his job back. Every union member in the region should support this campaign as the union organisation in CBS is an inspiration to us all, and if they get away with picking it apart in this way, it is an attack on the union as a whole.

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CBS Outdoor rep victimised

Published on: Sat, 15/11/2008 - 11:53

Brendan Judge, Health and Safety rep for CBS Outdoors poster company has been suspended from his job in a blatant act of trade union victimisation. The company have been making his life difficult since the inspiring and successful strike in the summer, which he helped to organise. First they moved him to the ‘punishment shift’, miles away from his house. Then when he complained about this, the company invented various trumped-up charges to discipline him. Colleagues at CBS Outdoors and well organised and are rallying around Brendan. The successful campaign to defend Andy Littlechild on Metronet should encourage them to fight this.

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CBS Outdoor Win

Published on: Mon, 25/08/2008 - 18:16

Workers at CBS Outdoor have won better pay after striking. The 100% solid 4-day strike was a product of bitterness against management and inspirational rank-and-file workplace organising by the union reps.

When pay talks started last year, CBS offered 2.5%. Negotiations built that up to 4.2% (without other benefits) or 4%. The workers did not buy into the lie that the bosses can’t ‘afford’ to keep pay in line with inflation. They refused to accept this offer and won a better one by taking action.

When a few new workers with a fresh outlook joined the company a few years ago, they built up RMT membership and confidence in the union. They educated people to stand up for themselves, saying that it should not just be for workers to humbly accept crap treatment just because the boss pays the wages.

Reps kept members informed at every step through the pay claim, reaffirming, ‘You are the union. The final decision is yours’. Two workplace meetings - one per shift - voted to go ahead with strikes.

This is a model of how to organise, how to relate the union to its members and how to get workers behind a fight.

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CBS Outdoor Strike

Published on: Fri, 08/08/2008 - 17:25

Workers at CBS, the company who have the contracts for putting up advertising posters on the Tube, have gone on strike over pay and a list of injustices that have mounted over the years. There were around 40 people on the picket line at their depot at Blackhorse Road last night, and 20 yesterday morning. Nobody crossed. This 100% solid 4 day strike (from Thursday til Monday) is a product of the bitterness that has built up against their management and inspirational rank-and-file workplace organising by the reps there.

The key issue is pay. When talks started last year, the bosses were talking about 2.5%. Negotiations have built that up to a current 4.2% offer (without other benefits) or a 4% offer (if the workers go without the other 'benefits' they are asking for). This is inspiring because these workers have not bought into the lie that in the increasing economic downturn, the bosses can't 'afford' to keep pay in line with inflation, and the still worse guilt-trip that it's up to us to make sacrifices to bale capitalism out. CBS in this country is part of CBS O America, which is jokingly referred to as the 'Bank of America'. Their multinational employer can well afford a pay increase. It's great to see workers taking a stand against silently suffering the worst effects of economic conditions that we do not create.

For years CBS workers have been asking for more than the meagre 20 days paid sick leave they currently have, especially when absence due to injury on the job is taken out of their sick allowance. They have also been asking for payment when retiring on ill health grounds. After closing their ears to these demands until the strike was muted, the bosses have suddenly started using the workers' other demands as a bargaining chip in the dispute over pay. It's an insult. The fact that they are prepared to offer 4.0% plus benefits or 4.2% without benefits shows that they could afford both. The workers have seen right through these attempts to manipulate them.

CBS has had RMT members for years, but when a few new workers with a fresh outlook joined the company around three years ago, things started to get shaken up. The started by building up membership and building confidence in the union by 'doing naughty things within the rules'. They educated people to stand up for themselves, saying that as they sell their labour to CBS, they should see that contract as something to negotiate around and assert themselves within. It should not just be for workers to humbly accept crap treatment just because the boss pays the wages. The attitude of the reps has been to keep members informed at every step through the pay claim, reaffirming, 'The union is not me. You are the union. The final decision is yours'. They balloted to go on strike. Two mass workplace meetings - one per shift - voted unanimously at the beginning of the week to go ahead with the planned action.

This dispute should be a model for the rest of the RMT on the tube in how to organise, how to relate the union to its members and how to get workers behind a fight.

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Poster Staff To Strike

Published on: Wed, 06/08/2008 - 19:59

CBS Outdoor staff - the people who put up advertising posters in stations - are to strike for four days to demand a better pay offer. Having voted 65-6 for strikes, and 64-7 for action short of strikes, they will walk out for four days (which will be two shifts each) from Thursday morning to Monday morning (7-11 August). There will also be an overtime ban.

CBS Outdoor members have been called upon to take a four-day stoppage of work in furtherance of their pay dispute. I would like to congratulate members for returning magnificent mandates for both strike action and action short of a strike. Members voted by 65 votes to 6 for strike action and 64 votes to 7 for action short of a strike. There were no spoilt papers in either case.

With the real rate of inflation soaring and fuel bills going up by up to 50%, no-one should be expected to settle for a pathetic 3.8%. And to add insult to injury, even this comes with strings - a demand by the employers for a 10% productivity rise. So we work 10% harder and only get a 3.8% rise? We don't think so.

In fact, this context makes the union's demand - 5.1% for LTA protected staff and 5.6% for lower paid non-LTA staff - seem positively mild.

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