Thursday 10th December 2020


Today (Thursday 10th December), Communication Workers Union (CWU) members at BT Plc, Openreach and EE have delivered a huge vote of no confidence in the direction of the company by voting overwhelmingly to support an official strike ballot.

In a National Consultative Ballot, employees have said that they would support moving to an official strike ballot if BT Group did not cease attacks on their jobs, terms and conditions.

Over 74.2% of 45,000 CWU members balloted across BT Group participated in the ballot. Of this number, 97.9% voted YES – a level which, if replicated in an official ballot, would comfortably pass the legal thresholds.

Responding to the result, CWU Deputy General Secretary (Telecoms and Financial Services) Andy Kerr said: “For a long time, BT Group have been claiming that our union does not speak for the employees and that people are happy with the direction of the company.

“This result shows how laughable those claims are and have always been. This moment should act as a reality check for management and it gives them one final chance to avoid a massive industrial dispute in 2021.

“Our members – many of them key workers – have made it crystal clear today that they will not support an agenda of compulsory redundancies,  site closures and the race to the bottom on terms and conditions. 

“The CWU will be seeking an urgent meeting with BT to resolve this dispute and avoid disruption to the great service our members provide and customers receive.”

CWU General Secretary Dave Ward added: “Our members have stood up to be counted in this ballot and I have absolute confidence they would deliver in an official ballot as well. BT Group management are acting in a disgraceful manner and this union will not stand for it.

“As with so many companies across the UK, BT are only interested in being in line with market competition, profit, and shareholder dividends.

“Our union has a different vision – one of secure, well paid, UK based jobs, good terms and conditions and a service the UK can be proud of. We are today giving management the opportunity to return to the negotiating table with a serious offer to resolve this dispute. 

“The message from our members could not be clearer – the ball is in BT’s court.”


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