Everything Everywhere make redundancies with rubbish light show

11 October 2010

everything_everywhere_The 16,000 employees of Everything Everywhere (the communications company created by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile) are all now completely aware of the fact that they work for a festering bunch of (SNIPPED BY LAWYERS).

At mass meetings across the country, they were told last month whether or not their jobs were safe by being shown a series of coloured lights.

Staff, who could lose their jobs as soon as this Christmas, were shown a red light and told they were "at risk" while other staff saw the light go yellow, which meant they must re-apply for their existing job.

If you were lucky enough to be shown a blue light, that meant they were being kept on and a green light showed the creation of a limited number of new roles. We can't confirm whether or not these flashing light broadcasts were interspersed with images of warfare and destruction while employees eye-balls were prised open and kept awake with droppers of water.

The best thing about this frankly surreal way of communicating with staff (heard of emails? Sending letters out?) is that many employees didn't even know that their jobs were at risk before being shunted into a room for a humiliating public display of not giving the slightest of fucks.

One employee said: "Some of the people got up and walked straight out of the room, others sat there crying, others were absolutely dumbstruck."

Everything Everywhere initially responded to criticisms with a series of flashing coloured screens, similar to the code found on New Order's 'Power, Corruption and Lies' LP. However, as that made no sense, they went about communicating to the world via the tried and tested method of bullshit:

"Wherever possible, members of our senior management team explained the proposed changes at face-to-face meetings to ensure teams received the information consistently and had the opportunity to ask questions."

Michael Burd, head of employment at law firm Lewis Silken, told the Telegraph that he had "never heard" of such a public way of breaking news to employees in his 26 years as a lawyer. He reckons that every employee who was shown a red light and loses their job after the consultation is likely to be able to claim for unfair dismissal.

If successful, staff can expect a maximum payout of £65,300, which means that, thanks to their completely lack of understanding with their staff, they could be looking at forking out more than £70m. Funnily enough, Everything Everywhere doesn't recognise trade unions.

Hands up if any of you are surprised by any of this...

TOPICS:   Not The Onion   Consumer Advice   Mobile

24 comments

  • JEFRO
    Hang on. Many posts on this blog bang on about how bad trade unions are, with their industrial action and all. But this post seems to suggest a company is bad for not recognising trade unions. Please issue a clear editorial line on trade unions. For a blog operated by four people -- none of whom rank below 'editor' -- this should not be too much to ask. JEFRO
  • kev
    those who got the yellow lights and we told to "re-apply" should politely tell their bosses to **** off
  • Tim G.
    Ah! The joy spreaders that going by the name of HR professionals. I've seen this sick schtick before with a global newspaper publisher. Be prepared for more of this caring style of people management after the cuts are announced in the UK. HR strategies have commoditised the value of loyalty. It is truly worth zero. Neither side owes the other a single thing - and remember, the management really does not give a toss about you.
  • Andy D.
    Surely it should be: red = stay yellow = risky green = go A.
  • Tom
    @kev Yeah, 'cause mortgages pay themselves, don't they?
  • Luke
    Surely the workers would need to be sent a formal document telling them about the status of their job security too?
  • Nobby
    > One employee said: “Some of the people got up and walked straight out of the room, others sat there crying, others were absolutely dumbstruck.” I wonder what the ones that lost their job did.
  • Laurz
    Why was this 'such a public way of breaking news to employees'? I was made redundant last christmas and I, along with everyone else, was told in a meeting of all employees in the canteen (only room big enough) by our HR officer. People who were being made redundant were told in front of people that weren't. I was under the impression this was a pretty standard way to do this (apart from the canteen part)
  • Tim
    Having been through this process a number of times, the law (EU I think) requires a lengthy consultation process before they can give you the red light, especially for a large number of redundancies. The process of selection is often strange though. One place just did "last in, first out", and another drew up a lengthy personal assessment that ranked everyone in comparison to each other, and the lowest scores went out the door. Still, if you're in this situation, never take voluntary redundancy or just offer your resignation to get out quick. Hold out for maximum redundancy pay out. If you were pissed off with the job and were thinking of leaving, it's always worth looking out for signs of potential redundancy too.
  • Tim
    Oh, and I've been in some where they've just informed who's going in front of others, and others where you're called in one by one to be told you're going. The latter is far more painful an exercise especially if it's a process that takes days or weeks. I'd rather be told then and there, and can get out the building to start looking for a new job.
  • Andypip
    We've renamed our "HR" department Human Remains because that's all they leave behind after any re-structure - what is it with these people? Do they all go on the same course about how to be unbelieveably crass and utterly crap at their jobs?
  • Im s.
    I was at one of these briefings and its much like said... However, the best part of the story is that the slides where rendered in such a small font it was very hard to see your name, I was in a room with about 300 people and I only knew I was in a Blue Box after the meeting because one of my co-workers said he'd seen me. My Manager swears blind that he saw his name in 3 different slides, heading up 3 different teams. It then took more than 24 hours for a different version of the slides to be distributed around the company so I could indeed confirm what colour box I was in.
  • maxtweenie
    I was told earlier today that my job's disappearing by Microsoft Office Communicator. Sign of the times.
  • RampantReg
    I've only been made reduntant once in my life, 22 years ago. It was a bizzare experience. I had only been with the company 18 months and was told I was being laid off - I was to serve one month's notice and was to be awarded the absolute minimum. During my notice period I managed to find another job, better paid and better hours so was quite happy and I didn't see the point in telling anyone at the current company as I was already leaving. Anyway, three weeks in to my notice period I was called into the bosses office where him and his partner told me they had landed a new contract and my job was now safe. I said no thanks I already had a new job with better pay and hours - all hell broke loose, they called me all the names under the sun, and said I was disloyal and ungrateful and that I would not be able to leave at the end of the following week because I needed to give them one month's notice. At that point I had had enough, I stood up, told them where to stick their job and suggested that if they weren't happy with that they follow me outside and try to stop me (I was easily twice their size). Needless to say the geniuses never bothered and they never paid me that month's wages. Mind you the company did fold less than two-years later so I had the last laugh :-)
  • Steve W.
    "Everyone who still has a job, take one step forward - Where the fuck are you going Call Handlers"
  • Orville r.
    Good old Orange they did somthing similar to this in 2004 -FT have royally f^cked orange in the last 6 years Vodafone new what they where doing when they bought Mannismen forcing them to sell Orange to the French
  • jsoap
    There's no good way of doing this, and many bad ways. My personal favourite was getting an email to direct you to a meeting in one of two rooms. As soon as you get there, you know right away if you are "at risk" by looking at which colleagues are with you. Sadly the consultation period, usually 90 days, is just a way making the process even more painful, by suggesting that there is some chance that you will retain your job. Every redundancy process I've been through was used to shed a the people that dod not fit in.
  • Herbert F.
    I heard this on Radio 4 yesterday and it is undoubtedly a great story, unfortunately it is complete twaddle. I was in one of the meetings described and there were no flashing lights, no walkouts and no tears. The dreary reality is we saw a PowerPoint presentation on a proposed new organisational structure with fewer roles, it's hard to believe there is anyone alive so innocent as to believe this was not going to be the upshot of two large companies merging. The people I've come across who seem most upset are those wanting to go who think they're unlikely to be picked for a pay off, the redundancy terms aren't bad and both organisations have plenty of long servers, volunteers are not going to be in short supply. I have very little faith in the humanity of my employer but this is balls and should be recognised as such, in three months time when the process has played out there will be a relatively small number of people out of a job who didn't ask to go and those unfortunate few will not have been informed of the decision through the medium of flashing lights, charades or interpretative dance. The attitude of the British people to employees rights seems to be a perverse pride in allowing our bosses to treat us worse than anyone else in Western Europe and when people have the temerity to negotiate the the legislative and judicial obstacles to take collective action the hatred and vituperation directed at them is staggering. Apparently all it takes for everyone to be Bob Crowe is an invented light show and an unattributed quote. TUC must be furious they didn't cotton on three decades ago.
  • Fuck S.
    To be honest, if you work for either company, you deserve to be made redundant.
  • klingelton
    @Fuck S Sake unnecessary.
  • How B.
    [...] Bitterwallet ran a bizarre story about Everything Everywhere (the company founded by the gluing together of Orange and T-Mobile) [...]
  • What s.
    I was made redundant and what you have published here is a sack of shit, your obviously retarded, legally a company does not have to recognise unions unless they have a 60% of staff who have joined. your a bunch of ignorant fucks,
  • Redundancy I.
    You know therefore considerably relating to this subject, made me individually consider it from so many various angles. Its like women and men don't seem to be fascinated unless it is one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your individual stuffs nice. At all times care for it up!
  • Chief
    Herbert is incorrect/not being honest, i was there and whilst there were no flashy lights (bar the stage ones) there was a Red Yellow and Green code list with red being redundancy and green being safe. Yellow was for those whose job roles maybe one that is cut tho they could apply for other roles in the new structure. People did cry and walk out (i was near the door and could easily see people leaving in tears). I was placed in yellow however since then i have managed to gain a job in the same area. This did happen and dont be fooled by Herbert who is likely a seniour employee whos job is very safe let you think otherwise. There has also been more since but more in HR than frontline. Also EE is currently not a very nice place to work and there is likely to be jobs going for people soon as most of the staff are badly treat and on the verge of leaving. Had the outside world been in a better state, most would likely have already gone but then im not sure they would be treating the staff as bad as they do if getting another job was easy. Sadly im sure EE are not the only ones treating staff poorly these days as employers seem to be taking advantage of this situation.

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