BT employees will go on strike following a “weak, insulting” pay deal that fails to counter the impact of high inflation.
Earlier this year, BT offered a £1,500 pay increase for employees. With RPI inflation levels hitting 11.7 percent, it’s been labelled a “dramatic real-terms pay cut”.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) – a union for all BT Group employees – voted by 95.8 percent to take strike action. Call centre workers will join 30,000 Openreach engineers for the strike.
“Our members were never going to accept imposition. BT Group thought they could get away with bullying treatment – they were wrong,” said Dave Ward, General Secretary of the CWU.
The CWU points out the vital role that BT Group staff played in keeping people connected throughout the pandemic.
“The reward for our members? The imposition of a below-inflation increase,” added Ward. ”Our members, and working people in general, have had enough. We will not accept seeing workers use food banks while executives use Swiss banks.”
“This situation is unjust, but it’s also untenable—people will not work harder and harder for less and less forever.”
Across the country, workers across industries are striking at pay rises that are well below inflation. Some haven’t even received a raise to soften the blow to their living.
“This vote has shown the power of our members, who will not simply accept such a dramatic deterioration of their living conditions,” said Andy Kerr, Deputy General Secretary of the CWU.
“Our members deserve respect and dignity. That means a proper pay rise – and they are going to get it.”
(Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash)
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