21 April 2020

Dear colleague


Your union has been in negotiations with Thales over its proposed Furlough Arrangements as it looks to put members of staff onto the government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

At this time your union negotiating team have significant concerns regarding the Thales Furlough scheme that affects some 112 staff along the following lines:

Thales have so far not agreed to include shift allowance in their scheme as per the government advice in regards to normal rates of pay
It is unclear how the pay back scheme will work and your union believes that this should not be applied
It appears that work is still being given to external sources that our members can do and there are currently many contractors being given work to do at home.

It has been put to Thales that the company cannot go ahead with its proposals contractually without consent and also your union’s position is for 100% pay for staff during the furlough period.

Thales have stated that there may need to be redundancy talks if its proposals are not accepted, but the work on projects such as 4LM (LU upgrades) and Connect (LU Telecomms) means that that is unlikely, though not impossible in the view of your representatives.

This matter has been considered by your union’s National Executive Committee, which has noted that the proposed arrangements do not properly protect wages, including shift allowances. Additionally, your NEC notes with disgust the company’s threats of redundancies, even though it appears that work it still has on various contracts continues along with the company’s use of outsourced labour.

The discussions on the above continue and I will keep you advised of all further developments in this matter as they arise.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary