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BT ‘disappointed’ as workers set to strike again over pay row

BT has said it is “disappointed” but “respects the decision” of workers to strike as further industrial action was announced in a dispute over pay.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) notified the telecoms giant on Friday they will be holding two days of industrial action for its BT and Openreach members on 30 and 31 August.

Tens of thousands of BT workers also walked out on July 29 and August 1, the first strike action in 35 years at the telecoms group.

It comes after BT confirmed to the CWU that it won’t be reopening the 2022 pay review “having already made the best award we could”.

The telecoms company has offered its employees a £1,500 pay increase, saying the move represents a pay rise of around 5 per cent on average and 8 per cent for the lowest paid.

“We have been in constant discussions with the union throughout this process, including a recent face to face meeting, and although we’ve not yet reached any form of consensus, we are both committed to further dialogue,” BT said in a statement.

CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said he is hoping to get BT “back round the table for serious negotiations”.

“But as things stand it has sadly become clear that simply isn’t going to happen unless we take further action…so that’s precisely what we’re going to do,” he added.

Following the announcement of strike action at the end of August, a BT spokesperson said: “We know that our colleagues are dealing with the impacts of high inflation and, although we’re disappointed, we respect their decision to strike.

“We have made the best pay award we could and we are in constant discussions with the CWU to find a way forward from here. In the meantime, we will continue to work to minimise any disruption and keep our customers and the country connected.” CRN

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