Unions slammed the BT Group this afternoon for showing “complete contempt” for its workers as the telecoms giant posted millions in profit.
Responding to the firm’s quarterly results, and ahead of strikes today and tomorrow of over 40,000 staff, the Communication Worker Union (CWU) General Secretary Dave Ward said BT was “gaslighting” members.
“Announcing hundreds of millions of pounds in profit on the eve of the first national strike since 1987 smacks of arrogance and complete contempt for frontline workers,” Ward said.
In first quarter earnings, the FTSE 100 company posted a one per cent rise in revenue to £5.1bn and reported profit before tax of £0.5bn. Adjusted EBITDA also hit £1.9bn, up two per cent.
BT said annual contractual price rises bolstered investment in the network, like 5G and full fibre, and offset cost inflation.
CCS Insight analyst Kester Mann told City A.M. that the resilient set of results was a sign that BT had “shrugged off” the strike action over pay.
However, talk of price rises and inflationary pressures undoubtedly adds salt to the wounds of disgruntled workers and pay concerns.
The CWU have consistently rejected the “incredibly low” £1,500 flat-rate pay rise offered by BT in April, which the CWU had called a relative pay cut.
Meanwhile, BT have refused to budge on the offer, stating that it is the “highest pay rise for frontline colleagues in more than 20 years”.
Third Bridge analyst Albie Amankona suggested that inflating labour costs could force BT to slow down its full fiber network build: something that the UK’s biggest telcos firm has been reluctant to do in the highly competitive market