UK-based BT Group and union representatives remained unable to resolve an ongoing dispute over pay, leaving the operator facing two more days of industrial action in the coming weeks.
The Communications Workers Union (CWU) stated around 40,000 workers will hold a second strike on the final two days of August, with details of the move coming around two weeks after BT faced its first national walk-outs since 1987.
In a statement, the CWU explained its members face “real-term pay cuts” and strike action follows “management’s failure to take up the union’s offer of serious talks to end the dispute”.
BT responded by acknowledging employees “are dealing with the impacts of high inflation and, although we’re disappointed, we respect their decision to strike”. The operator reiterated it won’t be reopening its 2022 pay review, “having already made the best award we could”.
The group awarded a pay increase around 5 per cent on average and 8 per cent for the lowest paid with effect from 1 April 2022.
CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said the union is “still hoping to get BT back round the table for serious negotiations”.
However, he declared it had “become clear that simply isn’t going to happen unless we take further action…so that’s precisely what we’re going to do”.
Openreach engineers and BT call centre staff downed tools on 29 July and 1 August after talks failed to address what the CWU described as “insulting” pay inaction.
BT has noted it is in constant discussions with the CWU. “In the meantime, we will continue to work to minimise any disruption and keep our customers and the country connected”, it stated.