Community's national officer Roy Rickhuss said the union was "extremely disappointed at the turn of events".Your members were sleeping on the job, Roy. I’m assuming that’s not in their job description?
"Whoever made this decision - and they told us the decision was made in London...to go down the route of covert cameras just did not understand, had no idea or concept of the industrial relations that had been built up over a number of years in that plant," he said.
Tata Steel spokesman Robert Dangerfield said the whistleblower's allegation of a "systemic malpractice - sleeping on the job - in one part of the plant had to be investigated and its veracity checked".Quite. But the union’s little tantrum is, of course, backed up by the usual suspects:
"This is the real world of a potentially hazardous workplace with workers scattered over a plant covering 12 square miles - not a science fiction fantasy like Big Brother," he said.
Professor of industrial relations at Wolverhampton University, Roger Seifert, said there were "very clear guidelines" about the use of CCTV by employers when dealing with employees.I think they’ve got rid of some useless, lazy former employees and hopefully put the fear of god into the rest….
"The most important thing is... trust, so what should normally happen is you should warn people that you are going to put the cameras in. You should consult with the workers and the unions about where they're going to be put in and why they're being put in, and the use they're going to be [put to].
"At that stage, you normally get rid of whatever problem you think is occurring anyway, but to do it secretly smacks of trying to catch people out in order to sack them and teach them a lesson and that's not really good industrial relations.
"Tata prides itself on good industrial relations and I think they've shot themselves in the foot here and made a big mistake."