UK TELECOM British Telecom (BT) is staring down workers in a pay dispute that could lead strike action.
The firm, which reported an astonishing £1 billion profit for the year ending March 2010, is, according to the Communication Workers Union (CWU), about to offer large bonuses to management while ignoring the efforts of its front-line members.
The CWU is holding out for a five per cent pay increase for its members and recently rejected a two per cent offer from BT that it labels "a pay cut in real terms". The union claims that a five percent increase would hardly dent BT's bottom line. Surprisingly, the union doesn't object to any management bonuses being paid out, but simply wants the firm to "share the success of the company" with its members.
It also claims that the five percent offer is up for negotiation, however if an offer that doesn't fail to "recognise the contribution" made by its members doesn't turn up by 4 June then it will push for strike action.
Strike action by BT's CWU members would be the first in 25 years. It's unlikely that any action would result in loss of dial-tone or ADSL connections going dead, nevertheless, it may increase the delay in customer call outs, infrastructure work and repairs. µ