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BT could face long strike

Marion Dakers
THE Communication Workers Union said last night it was prepared for a lengthy strike at BT, as the telecoms firm took to contacting workers directly in an attempt to avert industrial action.

Andy Kerr, the CWU’s deputy general secretary, said that he was willing to organise a protracted strike in order to improve upon BT’s offer of a two per cent pay rise for the union’s 50,000 members rising to five per cent after 21 months.

BT, led by boss Ian Livingston, said: “We are disappointed that the ballot is going ahead. BT is now contacting union members directly as it is clear that the union”s leadership are unwilling to negotiate.”

The CWU has sent strike ballots to its members today, with the results due on 5 July. A strike could take place as early as the middle of next month, said Kerr, and may disrupt phone services.