BT workers to strike on July 29, August 1

More than 40,000 BT workers will go on strike for the first time in 35 years.

After voting in favour of industrial action last month, BT workers will hold a two-day national strike on July 29 and August 1 after the telco failed to meet the Communication Workers Union (CWU) demands to come to the table in the middle of last week.

The union has criticised BT’s offer of a £1,500 pay increase to frontline workers “incredibly low,” with the offer translating to 3%-8% – lower than the ​​9.1% rate of inflation. BT meanwhile has said that the pay award is its biggest in 20 years, and that it would not improve its offer. 

A spokesperson for the operator said: “We have confirmed to the CWU that we won’t be re-opening the 2022 pay review, having already made the best award we could,” a BT Group spokesperson said. We will work to minimise any disruption and keep our customers and the country connected.”

Announcing the strike, CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “This is not a case of an employer refusing to meet a union’s demands – this is about an employer refusing to meet us whatsoever. The serious disruption this strike may cause is entirely down to Philip Jansen and his friends, who have chosen to stick two fingers up to their own workforce.”

BT CEO Phillip Jansen’s salary was increased in 2022 32% year-over-year to £3.5 million, while £700 million has been paid out to shareholders.

Ward said: “These are the same workers who kept the country connected during the pandemic. Without CWU members in BT Group, there would have been no home-working revolution, and vital technical infrastructure may have malfunctioned or been broken when our country most needed it. Our members worked under great difficulty – and  got a real-terms pay cut as a reward.”

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