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08/01/2001

MTV STAFF CONTRACT CHANGES PUT ON HOLD

MUSIC broadcast channel MTV have postponed changes in staff contracts following union protests.
Changes in employment contracts for staff at the Camden-based company, originally scheduled for January 1, will not be introduced until the company have consulted their workforce.
MTV have warned that contracts will be changed after the consultation period ends on February 21, and the union remain concerned that cuts in holiday entitlement and bank holiday payments for the company's Broadcast Services staff could be imposed without consent.
The plan to change contracts on New Year's Day was dropped after BECTU threatened legal action on the grounds that insufficient notice had been given to staff.
Although the union are not officially recognised by MTV for collective bargaining, BECTU have a growing number of members at the company, who have been urged to resist the changes in conditions of service contained in the new contracts.
Claims that MTV needs to make cost savings are, according the union, contradicted by company’s recent healthy profits. The union have also rejected accusations regarding uncompetitive working practices, pointing out that terms and conditions at MTV are already worse than those at most other mainstream broadcasters.
Separate from the argument over contracts, BECTU have lodged a formal application with MTV for recognition of the union for collective bargaining. If the company refuses to discuss the creation of a recognition agreement, the union are likely to invoke new labour laws which will give the government's Central Arbitration Committee the right to impose recognition deals with the support of employees.
A union meeting for staff at MTV is scheduled for January 10. (CD)
VMI.TV Ltd

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