UK strikes: fresh strike for BT and Openreach workers amid pay dispute

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), including 999 call handlers, will walk out for 24 hours following a wave of stoppages in recent weeks.

BT and Openreachworkers will stage a fresh strike on Monday in a long-running dispute over pay.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), including 999 call handlers, will walk out for 24 hours following a wave of stoppages in recent weeks.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said his members remained determined to continue with the action, adding: “We’re never going to walk away from this.” The union said BT’s “imposed” pay rise of £1,500 was worth between 5% and less than 3%, well below “spiralling” inflation.

The first national industrial action in BT Group for three and a half decades took place on July 29 and August 1, two further strikes were held at the end of August, followed by three further walkouts this month before Monday’s action.

BT Openreach workers are set to strike. Picture: PETER BYRNE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said: “When the 999 callers are out on strike, you know something is going very wrong in this country. Time and time again, we have asked for negotiations to resolve what is a dangerous dispute, only to be ignored.

“But BT Group workers are sick of this corporate arrogance, and they are determined and united. They will fight hard to get the proper pay rise and the dignity that they deserve.”

A BT Group spokesperson said: “We will do whatever it takes to protect 999 services, redeploying our people to the most important priority is a normal part of BT Group operations.

“We made the best pay award we could in April and we have held 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.”