BT Strike starting tomorrow shows “serious determination”





Tens of thousands of BT Group workers have displayed “serious determination” to get the wage rise they deserve, as they walk out on strike against real-terms pay cuts this week.

30,000 Openreach engineers and 10,000 BT call centre workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) – which represents BT Group workers – will be taking strike action tomorrow (Tuesday 30th August) and Wednesday 31stAugust.

The announcement comes off a historic strike ballot, announced in late June, and off a recent first wave of strikes that attracted widespread public support.

The strikes also saw visits by senior Labour MPs such as Lisa Nandy and deputy leader Angela Rayner writing to company CEO Philip Jansen.

The dispute centres on workers opposing the imposition by company management of an incredibly low flat-rate pay rise.

Earlier this year, BT offered and implemented a £1,500 per year pay increase for employees.

In the context of RPI inflation levels already hitting 11.7% this year, this is a dramatic real-terms pay cut.

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% wage increase – while the Big Issue and the BBC have reported instances of BT Group offices establishing food banks to assist employees.

The workers on strike look after the vast majority of Britain’s telecoms infrastructure, from mobile phone connection, broadband internet and back-up generators to national health 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.

CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “The disruption caused by this strike is entirely down to Philip Jansen and his ridiculous refusal to speak to his workers about a fair pay deal.

“These are the same workers who kept the country connected during the pandemic. Without CWU members, there would have been no home-working revolution, and vital technical infrastructure may have malfunctioned or been broken when our country most needed it.

“These people have performed phenomenally under great strain and have been given a real-terms pay cut for a reward, while Jansen has rewarded himself a 32% pay increase off the backs of their work.

“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. They have serious determination to win, and are not going to stop until they are listened to.”

CWU Deputy General Secretary Andy Kerr said: “This decision to take strike action was not made lightly.

“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.

“The constant disrespect shown towards our workforce has led to strike action that has been supported overwhelmingly by the public.

“If the top brass at BT haven’t got it yet – this is a problem entirely of their own making.

“BT Group workers will receive the dignity they deserve. That means a proper pay rise, and we will not give up until we get that.”


 For further information and media enquiries, please contact CWU Press Officer Marcus Barnett on 07812590450 or