Strikes Go Ahead as Workers Vow to Resist Union Busting







The Communication Workers Union (CWU) are warning that BT managers are engaging in “pathetic and desperate” efforts to undermine strikes against real-terms pay cuts in the days ahead.


Workers at BT Group have reported to the CWU – the union for BT Group workers – that company managers are attempting to use misinformation to dissuade workers from taking part in planned strike action from on Friday 29th July and Monday 1st August.


The litany of lies reported to the union includes:


  • Wrongly telling apprentices that they are not authorised to strike;
  • Wrongly telling non-union members that their participation is illegal;
  • Wrongly telling workers that management must be informed of their decision to take strike action.


Ominously, employees in some workplaces have claimed that management intend to keep a register of striking workers, and that threats of offshoring work in areas where the strikes are strong have been made.


The strike involves over 30,000 engineers who maintain much of Britain’s digital infrastructure.


Around 9,000 call centre workers will also take part, and the action will be the largest national call centre strike in history.


The strike follows BT Group management’s imposition of a £1,500 per year pay increase for employees earlier this year.


In the context of RPI inflation levels hitting 11.8% last month, the fee is a dramatic real-terms pay cut.


This is despite the company making £1.3 billion in annual profit, shareholder profit of £750 million, and Philip Jansen, the company’s CEO, taking home a £3.5 million pay package – a 32% wage increase.


Despite engineers and call centre workers holding unprecedented strike mandates of 95.8% and 91.5% respectively, Jansen did not even reply to the union’s notification of the result personally.


CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “The union-busting techniques deployed against loyal key workers have been pathetic and desperate.


“BT have assured the media repeatedly that contingency plans are in place to undermine strikes, but their panic shows otherwise.


“Our members don’t want to take strike action, but neither are they going to accept the imposition of a real-terms pay cut while the company made £1.3 billion in profit, shareholders gained £750 million, and the CEO pocketed a 32% pay rise – taking him to £3.5 million.


“They’re using Swiss banks while our members use food banks.


“Some BT Group workers earn just £21,000 a year, but they have self-respect and aren’t afraid to stick up for themselves.


“They are taking action against corporate hypocrisy, and no boss will crack their confidence any time soon.”




For further information or interview requests, please contact CWU Press Officer Marcus Barnett at or 07812590450.