CWU goes postal on Eircom

There is no let up in the campaign by the Communications Workers Union (CWU) to tweak the nose of Herb Hribar's Eircom by leaflet-bombing its customer base on the issue of paper billing.

We were contacted by a Dublin resident during the week who received a missive from the CWU on the very same day as their Eircom bill. Coincidence?

Eircom is proposing to move customers to paperless billing, although they have the choice to opt out of the change. It is a trend across the industry, with most of the big mobile operators also looking to do away with costly paper bills.

Eircom says only about 30,000 of its customers – those already registered online with My Eircom or My Meteor accounts – are affected. The CWU is understandably concerned about the impact this will have on staffing levels at companies that employ its members and has launched a campaign to convince consumers to opt back in for paper bills.

Its leaflet exhorts customers to contact their provider, to opt back in. But how could the union know who is an Eircom customer and who is not, without breaching data-protection rules?

Postmen and women are CWU members too; fewer paper bills also means less work for posties. Apparently, when a CWU postal worker spots an envelope with a window and an Eircom logo, they know it is a bill and couple it with a CWU leaflet before dropping it through the letterbox. Crafty stuff.

“Postmen and the CWU are engaged in a campaign to inform customers of telecoms companies of the decisions of their suppliers to switch them to paperless billing without their express consent,” the union said. “The CWU is supporting an information campaign being implemented by postmen and women.”

Solidarity, and all that.