BT Vows To Keep Services Running As Strike LoomsAdam Higgitt
BT Group may soon follow rail in experiencing its first strike in three decades after members of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) voted by 91.5% (BT) and 95.8% (Openreach) to strike over pay. EE members will not strike despite a 95% vote in favour after its ballot failed to reach the required turnout.
BT says the proposed pay award represents “the highest pay rise for frontline colleagues in more than 20 years – an average 5% increase and up to 8% for those on the lowest salaries.” The former incumbent also argues that all pay awards must be balanced against its current “once-in-a-generation investment programme”, including the huge capital investment in moving to full fibre and 5G.
But CWU officials say that the offer, payable to staff as an across-the-board increase of £1,500, falls below the current RPI inflation rate, pointing out that the firm posted a £1.3 billion in profit last year, with CEO Philip Jansen’s pay package increasing by 32% rise and over £700m paid out in dividends.
The next move rests with the CWU, which is required to give BT management a minimum notice period for any industrial action.