Feeds

BT reaches deadlock with union

Strike ballot to go ahead

Business security measures using SSL

BT faces a strike ballot after it failed to reach an agreement in a pay dispute with engineers by today's noon deadline.

Some 55,000 members of the Communication Workers Union at BT will now vote on their first industrial action in more than 20 years.

The union had set a 12pm deadline for BT to improve on its offer of a two per cent pay rise. Leaders rejected the offer in light of BT's return to profit this year, and chief executive Ian Livingstone's own pay rise of almost six per cent and £1.2m bonus.

"We've made our position very clear," Deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said this afternoon.

"2 per cent is not good enough when the company is making profits of over £1 billion, paying shareholders a 6 per cent dividend and paying out large sums to senior executives while inflation is at 5.3 per cent.

"Our members are angry about the blatant double standards when it comes to pay for those at the top compared to the rest of staff at the company. We're not asking for the earth, we're asking for a fair and affordable share of BT's success. If it's good enough for the executives it's good enough for the staff."

Kerr added that the CWU remains open to negotiations, but insisted only a bigger pay rise will end the dispute. Prospect, the other union at BT, has accepted the two per cent offer.

BT has said staff have received higher bonuses this year and that performance-based payments are its favoured approach.

A spokeswoman for the CWU said arrangements for its strike ballot will be announced next week. Workers last manned the picket lines in 1985. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

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
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
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
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.