Sale of BT Fleet Ltd to Aurelius
As you now will be aware BT has agreed the sale of BT Fleet Ltd to Aurelius with the transaction due to complete on 1st September 2019.
BT has stated that the sale forms part of its ongoing transformation strategy to “focus on converged connectivity and services” – namely full fibre and 5G. BT Fleet management is arguing that a standalone business will have more control over how it can invest its profits in key areas such as “HGVs, accident management and vehicle funding”. Hence the sale to Aurelius who claim to specialise in acquiring “non-core” divisions of companies in need of operational support to transform them into standalone, sustainable organisations.
The CWU does not support the sale. We believe that BT could find other ways to free up resources so it could invest in Fleet as well as fibre and 5G which were not fully considered. Regrettably, however, it is extremely unlikely that we are going to be able to stop this sale.
It should also be noted that the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE) does not apply in this case as it is a “Share Purchase” sale not covered by the legislation. As BT Fleet Ltd is being sold as a legal entity then the employment contracts and contractual benefits will remain in place.
The CWU will be having discussions with BT over the coming days to ensure we reach a steadfast commitment to a full recognition agreement with the new company. This will ensure we have full collective negotiation rights about future pay and working conditions. Although we have been informed by BT that there are no contractual changes, some non-contractual benefits may change given that they will separate away from BT. We will also be pressing BT on these issues and confirming the pension arrangements to be adopted by the new company and we will keep you appraised of our progress.
For information, I have attached to this letter copies of the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs), a crib sheet and a slide presentation which BT will be using when dealing with members’ queries and at meetings.
This is obviously a stressful time for our members and I would encourage all branches with BT Fleet members to visit the affected workplaces within your area as soon as possible. We will keep both branches and members updated as the situation develops but in the meantime if members have any questions that their local branch cannot answer then please email: email@example.com
Deputy General Secretary (T&FS)