A STRIKE planned by thousands of BT engineers was called off last week after the employers won a high court injunction. Bosses claimed that the workers' CWU union had failed to give the necessary notice required under the anti-union laws.
The engineers, who were ready to take action against an imposed pay and bonus scheme, are angry that the courts have put off the strike. But they are also asking why the union leaders did not immediately resubmit the notice to strike.
One BT engineer told Socialist Worker, 'It seems strange that if the union had to pull the action that it did not say straight away when new strikes would be called. I hope that there is not now a plan to put together a grubby deal which concedes what BT wants.' The new pay and bonus scheme is called Self Motivated Teams.
Its central idea is to force workers to work harder and to compete against each other with pay linked to 'performance'. If it succeeds this divisive scheme will not just weaken the engineers' organisation and ability to resist future company attacks on every front.
It will also make it easier for BT to push through more attacks on all of its workforce such as shifting call centre jobs to India.