Feeds

BT workers to ballot for strike

The Conservatives must be back in power

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The Communication Workers Union, representing 55,000 BT workers, is to ballot staff on strike action against a perceived pay cut in the face of company profits and management bonuses.

BT has offered workers a 2 per cent pay rise, but the union argues that given an inflation rate of 4.4 per cent that actually means cutting wages by 2.4 per cent. That's at a time when the company is making pre-tax profits of a billion quid and dropping a £1m bonus to CEO Ian Livingstone.

The union reckons increasing wages by 5 per cent would cost BT £65.5m, but the company is having none of it and, the BBC reports, is polling its middle management to see what skills they might have that can be applied to the front line if the strike goes ahead.

BT argues that times are still tough, and while last year's pay freeze helped there's still not enough confidence to offers workers an above-inflation pay rise. The company does point out that Ian Livingstone turned down a £50,000 pay rise this year, and that the 2 per cent offer is in addition to a £500 bonus for workers - though half of that bonus is dependent on end-of-year targets.

The ballot will take a while to arrange, and both sides are saying they're still hoping a strike won't happen, but with such a gulf between what's being asked for and offered they'll have to be some remarkable negotiations to avoid the first strike at BT since 1985. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.