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BT strike ballot to go ahead

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by Kay Mitchell

Telecoms giant BT could be faced with industrial action after the union which represents BT workers has confirmed that a strike ballot will go ahead.

The ballot will open on 18 June with the result is due on 5 July.

The vote for strike action, which would be the first in 25 years, comes as senior executives have been awarded huge bonuses, which has angered staff.

The union said only a “significant improvement” on an original 2% pay offer for this year would resolve the dispute.

Earlier this week, BT made an improved pay offer to staff which it said was worth 5.1% over a 21-month period several additional one-off payments and guarantees on job security.

However, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) is seeking a 5% increase for this year, highlighting BT’s rising profits, huge bonuses for top bosses and a 6% payout for shareholders and, therefore, rejected the revised offer from BT.

Andy Kerr, the union’s deputy general secretary, said: “Things have undoubtedly got worse since our meeting with BT yesterday. The company is now showing complete contempt for staff and for the reasonable pay rise we are seeking for our members in the company.

“BT’s revised offer failed to make any material improvement in pay for 2010 which we have made crystal clear is the key to resolving this dispute. While we are happy to consider a two-year deal, there must be an improvement in pay for this year,” added Mr Kerr.

A spokesperson for BT said it was “astonished” that the revised offer had been turned down and added the 5% increase for this year is “simply unrealistic”.

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News posted: June 11, 2010

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