CWU BT Group to ballot all members for action!

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BT CWU members on strike last year over pay and conditions

THE Telecoms & Financial Services Conference voted yesterday to serve legal notice to BT Group of the union’s intention to ballot all appropriate members for industrial action as soon as possible, after rejecting BT Group’s ‘final offer’ of a £1,500 flat rate pay rise.

Delegates deemed this an insult to members struggling with a spiralling cost-of-living crisis from a company that had made £5.7 billion in profit in 2021. The motion expressed how ‘appalled’ members were by the failure to ‘adequately reward the contribution made by CWU members keeping the country connected during the pandemic.’

CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said: ‘BT Group’s decision is not about affordability, no matter what they say.

‘They’re making massive profits, and the workers who create that profit for them are in serious need of a massive pay rise.

‘In this climate, where the cost of everything is skyrocketing, nobody could expect our key worker members to sit back and expect such insulting treatment.

‘These people have no integrity in my view – absolutely none. This is their choice. We’re going to ballot, we’ll have a big campaign, and we’ll talk about it after the debate.

‘We won’t wait for the jam tomorrow – we want it today.’

Mick Bagnall, Central Counties & Thames Valley, asked conference: ‘How many times are you going to let this company kick you before you kick back?

‘The answer, this time, has to be no more.

‘You kept this country going – you deserve more. You deserve recognition. We don’t get what we deserve, we get what we fight for.’

Jonathan Bellshaw, from Lincolnshire & South Yorkshire, said: ‘They’re not discussing terms and conditions – they’re imposing it. And when they’re imposing it, they’re bullying. And I’m quite happy to call them bullies.

‘It’s time for us to stand up to them and fight back. Where I was brought up in the East End of Glasgow, if you’re a bully you get a pasting. Well, this is our time to give them a pasting.’

Delegates were then shown a strategy of how to fight for a legally binding ‘YES’ vote in an upcoming ballot, with CWU head of comms Chris Webb summarising the strategy as: ‘It’s not about what they do, it’s about what we do – and we’re going to turn them over.’

Delegates voted for the union to ‘react in the strongest possible way’ to BT’s Supply Chain announcement from earlier this month, and to resist the compulsory redundancies that may take place among the Supply Chain Forward Stock Location Network (FSL) in favour of strictly voluntary ones.