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SeeTickets faces union dispute as it withdraws from trade group

By | Published on Wednesday 30 January 2013

See Tickets

SeeTickets, the UK ticketing company formerly owned by Andew Lloyd Webber’s company but now controlled by Universal Music parent Vivendi, is facing a strike in a dispute with union BECTU over working conditions at the ticketing agency, according to The Stage.

It seems the dispute between See Tickets and the union, which represents technical staff across the media and entertainment industries, began last October. See has now given notice that it wishes to terminate its voluntary recognition of the union, and the organisation’s right to negotiate collectively for its members on employment issues.

BECTU Supervisory Official Patrick Styles says that concerns were initially raised last year about the workload being placed on See employees and the environment in which staff worked. Unimpressed with the response of management to those concerns to date, Styles said last week that if no movement could be made in the near future regards the issues raised he would ballot union members about striking.

He told The Stage: “I met with members and reported the unreasonable and unhelpful stance taken by See Tickets about refusing to enter into constructive dialogue, instead giving three months’ notice of withdrawing from the voluntary recognition agreement. Members were shocked to hear that their senior management was not interested in discussing the legitimate concerns they have raised, and it was unanimously agreed that I should pursue these matters further”.

See’s dispute with BECTU comes as the company has also decided not to renew is membership of the Society Of Ticket Agents And Retailers, the ticketing sector’s trade body, that also operates a code of conduct which it says reassures ticket buyers that their interests will be protected. STAR’s Jonathan Brown told The Stage: “I don’t know what the reasons are for them not signing up, but it seems a real pity when the code is there to help protect consumers and they are not participating in it”.