BT workers to be balloted for industrial action over pay

Members of the Communication Workers Union will vote next month on whether to launch a campaign of action.

26 May 2022

Workers at telecoms giant BT are to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pay.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) at BT Group, which includes BT, Openreach and EE, will start voting in mid-June, with the result expected by the end of the month.

CWU members have unanimously rejected the offer of a £1,500 flat rate pay rise, the union said.

CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said: “When the cost of everything is skyrocketing, nobody can expect our key worker members to accept such insulting treatment.

“While those at the top are enjoying better profits than even they expected, some of the workers who made that profit for them are having to choose between heating or eating.

“They more than deserve an adequate reward for their contributions, and this is why they will be balloting to take strike action.”

CWU general secretary Dave Ward added: “This is not about a company that can’t afford to pay employees – this is about management choosing not to give people what they deserve during a time of serious uncertainty.

“These workers were instrumental in keeping this country going during the worst crisis since the Second World War.

“While our members made huge sacrifices, their employers made huge profits.

“If BT Group want to avoid a summer of disruption, they have to start treating their workers with some respect.”

A BT Group spokesperson said: “Having awarded our frontline colleagues the largest pay rise in over 20 years, we are disappointed that the CWU is considering industrial action, because if it goes ahead, nobody wins.

“By making a flat rate pay increase of £1,500 we ensured that our lowest paid colleagues received as much as an 8% increase while those on higher salaries would still receive more than 3%.

“We are emerging from a two-year global pandemic which has created difficult trading conditions for BT Group – and many other businesses – and has exacerbated a trend of year-on-year revenue declines over the last five years.

“BT Group’s current pay rates compare well against competitors and in most cases remain at or above the market rate.”

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