BT said its employees’ national strike over salary issue is expected to affect mobile and broadband services to customers across the country.
The strike by BT engineers, call centre and shop staff represents the vast majority of its 58,000-strong frontline workforce.
Communication Workers Union (CWU), the trade union organizing the ballot, represents 40,000 of the company’s 100,000 workforce, news report said. The trade union has said BT customers can expect disruption to services including repairs.
In April, BT gave 58,000 workers a £1,500 pay rise that it said was its biggest award in two decades. The CWU, which is demanding an increase of 10 percent at BT as inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.1 percent last month, called the offer “insulting” and a “relative pay cut”.
BT’s CEO Philip Jansen, who received 32 percent increase in pay last year to £3.5 million due to bonuses and share awards, has said the company cannot afford to sweeten its staff deal. BT has generated almost £2 billion in profits for the year to the end of March, with shareholders receiving £700 million in dividends.
BT Group in a news statement said it awarded a fully consolidated pay increase to its Team Member and frontline colleagues of £1,500. This represents a pay rise of around 5 percent on average and 8 percent for the lowest paid and it was effective from 1 April 2022.
Despite this pay award – the highest for over 20 years – the CWU balloted its members, the result of which today is a vote in favour of industrial action among its Openreach and BT members. They fell short of the required turnout among its EE members, BT told journalists.
“We will await notification from the CWU of its intention to launch any specific industrial action. There will be a minimum notice period between notification and the beginning of any strike,” BT said.