Striking BT workers’ food bank picket collections this Monday





Striking BT Group workers will be collecting for food banks as they strike against real-term pay cuts on Monday (1st August).

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) – which represents BT Group employees – have urged members of the public to drop off food to hundreds of picket lines across the country.

The workers, who are Openreach engineers and BT call centre workers, made the decision after it was reported that 14 million people risk starvation due to many previous food bank donors feeling too financially pressured to carry on giving.

Food banks are no strangers to some CWU members. Earlier in the year, the Big Issue and the BBC reported how EE, a subsidiary of BT Group, had established a food bank for its poorly paid employees.

The experience of many BT Group workers has led company CEO Philip Jansen to be nicknamed ‘Foodbank Phil’ in many workplaces.

The strike is the second day of industrial action against an imposed £1,500 per year pay increase for all employees.

In the context of RPI inflation levels approaching 12%, and BT making £1.3 billion in profit – with Jansen pocketing a 32% wage increase of £3.5 million – workers found this unacceptable, and voted in overwhelming and unprecedented numbers to strike.

CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “Since BT Group workers have been forced to take historic strike action in defence of their standard of living, it’s obvious that ‘Foodbank Phil’ has no interest in their welfare.

“But his employees – our members – care about the contributions they make to the society they serve and the country they live in.

“Just like in the pandemic, working class people will step up to the plate when employers and politicians fail, and are ready to put need before greed.

“We urge all sympathetic members of the public to attend picket lines in their area and chip in to help out others.”

CWU Deputy General Secretary Andy Kerr said: “On Friday, BT Group workers took strike action and received overwhelming support from the public.

“They showed their strength, but on Monday they will show their generosity.

“When corrupt politicians and overpaid bosses fall way short of the mark, it is working people who look after other working people.

“I have no doubt the public will show their support to workers and struggling families by turning up to picket lines, dropping off goods and standing side by side with people fighting for dignity.”


For more information, please contact CWU Press Officer Marcus Barnett on 07812 590450 or Find your nearest picket line here.