Socialist Worker

BT workers set to start national ballot

Issue No. 2206

BT workers were starting an industrial action ballot this week and are on the verge of their first national strike for 23 years.

The issue of pay has become a focus for workers’ anger. They face attacks on pensions, jobs and conditions while profits soar and bosses grab bumper pay.

Helen, a BT engineer in the CWU union, told Socialist Worker, “BT made more than £1 billion profit last year. We had a pay freeze, 30,000 redundancies and changes that made the pension scheme worse.

“All of this happened with the consent of the union. It’s time we stopped making concessions and stood up for ourselves.”

BT has increased dividends to shareholders by 6 percent this year. Aren’t staff worth the same?

And top boss Ian Livingston pockets over £2 million a year.

BT bosses responded to the strike ballot by bullying staff. They have told many workers that the 2 percent offer will be withdrawn and their pay will be frozen if they take industrial action.

Every BT worker should vote yes to strikes and other forms of industrial action, and organise to get as big a yes vote as possible.

Extended strikes could see problems with phone and internet networks. That would force BT to surrender.


Fast facts

  • 50,000 BT workers across Britain are voting. They are mainly engineers, call centre workers and sales staff
  • The issue is pay – workers are angry at a 2 percent offer
  • Ballot papers go out 18 June
  • The ballot closes on 5 July
  • Strikes could start as soon as 12 July


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Article information

News
Tue 15 Jun 2010, 18:43 BST
Issue No. 2206
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