BT Strike – Update 08/8/22 and Why BT members are Striking and why Enough is Enough.

11th Aug 2022 – BT pay dispute: Avalanche of political support for striking workers as union considers next steps.

Members across BT Group are being urged to write to their local MPs, expressing their anger and frustration at the double standards of a hugely profitable company that is imposing real-term pay cuts on frontline employees while splashing out hundreds of millions on shareholder dividends.

The move comes amid a groundswell of mainstream political support that has manifested itself at picket lines across the country. Numerous Labour MPs have publicly demonstrated their solidarity with striking BT and Openreach employees despite the party leadership’s confused position on industrial action at a time of an ever-deepening cost of living crisis.

Undeterred by Keir Starmer’s  controversial sacking of ex-shadow transport minister Sam Tarry following media appearances at a RMT picket line last month, dozens of Labour politicians – national as well as local –  turned out to support CWU protests outside more than 200 BT Group sites the length and breadth of the country on Friday July 29 and Monday August 1.
Read More Here.

Cost of Living Campaign – Enough is Enough

Dave Wards Message with regard to the CWU/BT Dispute.

BT staff will strike on Friday 29th July and Monday 1st August.

Following the rejection by Philip Jansen and the BT Board to enter in to meaningful negotiations over this years pay deal, notice has been served by the union on the company for strike action to be held on Friday 29th July and Monday 1st August.

The time has arrived for members to back your decision, back each other and back your Union. The effects of the ballot result are already being seen by the actions being taken, such as restricting access to some on-line tools. The company is effectively putting up the “SHOP CLOSED” sign on the door by shutting down the order books for the next few days.   Please do is not attend any shift commencing in the periods 00:00 -23:59 29th July and 00:00-23:59 1st August. You do not need to inform anyone of your intention prior to, or do not need to answer any phone calls of emails within, these times.
The CWU have given formal notification of your absence

I am writing on behalf of Wycombe Labour to express our solidarity and support for the strike action being taken by over 40,000 BT Group workers this Friday 29 July and Monday 1 August.
It is very concerning to see yet another group of loyal and hardworking key workers we all depended on during the pandemic being treated with total disdain; in this case by an employer making £1.3 bn in annual profit and awarding its CEO with a £3.5 m pay package – a 32 percent increase.  Shameful!
The strike ballot results were impressive and show the determination of your members to stand up for a well deserved, fair pay award.  We wish them every success.

Message of support from the TULO, Wycombe Labour.

A Regional / Branch meeting will be held on Monday July 25th, at 19:00 to answer the many questions from members, with regard to taking strike action, which have been raised. It’s understandable that members have concerns and hopefully this meeting will address these. An officer from Head Office will be in attendance.
All BT members should have received a Zoom invite link for this meeting, but you haven’t yet received one, then please contact our branch secretary, sec@cwu-cctv.org

If any manager continually asks for you to inform them of your intention to strike, as part of DOC, then please report the individual to your Union Rep.

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See latest CWU News Release here.

Isn’t it funny how the people who tell workers a proper pay rise is unaffordable always manage to deliver one for themselves?!

BT group chief executive Philip Jansen’s pay last year was 86 times what BT’s average worker got and 97 times its lower paid staff.
Independant ‘Point of View’ from Novara Media

According to General Secretary, Dave Ward, the companies position of an imposition of a pay deal and without giving members the opportunity to accept or reject the companies offer, is unsustainable.
Shareholders have received over £700M, representing nearly 60% of the £1.3B profits in the form of dividends.
On top of this, Philip Jansen, who received a 32% pay rise last year, taking his package to £3.5m including bonuses and share awards, has said the company cannot afford to give its staff an improved, indexed linked pay rise, even after increasing consumer prices by around 10%.

Over 40,000 BT Group workers to hold a two-day national strike against real-terms pay cuts, with senior management accused by our general secretary Dave Ward as having “stuck two fingers up” to key workers…

The announcement followed a strike ballot, in which Openreach engineers voted for action by 95.8 per cent and members in BT returned a 91.5 per cent majority for the walkout. The dispute centres on workers opposing the imposition by the business of a far-below-inflation, flat-rate, £1,500pa pay settlement on employees, which is a dramatic real-terms pay cut when compared to RPI inflation levels of over 11 per cent.

It is also in the context of BT making £1.3 billion in annual profit, with CEO Philip Jansen gaining a £3.5 million pay package – a 32 per cent wage increase – while the Big Issue and the BBC have reported instances of BT offices establishing food banks to assist employees.

These members look after the vast majority of Britain’s telecoms infrastructure, from mobile phone connection, broadband internet and back-up generators to national heath systems, cyber security and data centres.

The strike action is also likely to have a serious effect on the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband and may cause significant issues for those working from home. It is the first strike action at BT Group since 1987, and the first national call-centre workers’ strike.

Our general secretary Dave Ward said: “For the first time since 1987, strike action will now commence at BT Group. 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.

“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.

“Meanwhile, Jansen gifted himself a £3.5 million pay package – a 32 per cent pay increase and BT’s chief financial officer was handed £2.2 million – a 25 per cent increase. And there has also been £700 million paid out to shareholders.

“The reason for the strike is simple: workers will not accept a massive deterioration in their living standards. We won’t have bosses using Swiss banks while workers are using food banks.

“BT Group workers are saying: enough is enough. We are not going to stop until we win.”

And deputy general secretary (T&FS) Andy Kerr said: “The decision to take strike action was not made lightly. From the very beginning of this dispute, we have repeatedly expressed our wishes to sit down and negotiate a pay deal that treats BT Group workers with the respect they more than deserve.

“Instead, our attempts to meet and improve this situation were declined by senior management who clearly have no time for the people who make them their massive profits and this disrespect has led to the first strike at BT Group in nearly four decades.

“If the top brass at BT haven’t got it yet – this strike is a problem that is entirely of their own making. BT Group workers deserve to be treated with dignity. That means a proper pay rise, and we will not give up until we get that.”

If we stand together, we will win this dispute.