Thousands of UK workers are set to stage walkouts over the next few days over below-inflation pay offers.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) yesterday rejected BT’s 5 per cent pay rise – the highest in more than 20 years – calling it a “nothing short of an insult,” the Times first reported.
“We have no choice now but to immediately prepare for a statutory industrial action ballot.”
BT, for its part, said it was giving all “frontline workers” – including engineers, retail and contact centre workers – an annual salary boost of £1,500, saying it was an 8 per cent increase for some.
“While we have continued to extend and strengthen our networks to support the country’s recovery, the pandemic has hit our financial performance, like that of most companies,” said BT’s chief executive Philip Jansen.
“We know that the cost of living continues to rise and by making this award we’re ensuring that our lower-paid workers will benefit most and as soon as possible.”
The CWU on Wednesday rejected a 2 per cent pay offer from Post Office, calling it “insulting and downright inflammatory.”
According to the union, almost all members voted in favour of a strike action after Post Office refused to hand out pay rises for 2021/2022.
“Our members have delivered the biggest strike mandate that we’ve ever had in the Post Office,” said CWU’s assistant secretary Andy Furey.
“Every Crown office in the UK will shut, cash collections and deliveries to every sub-Post Office will cease, and general postal services will be severely impacted too.
“The clock is ticking towards that strike – get real, get round the table with us and settle this pay dispute.”
Tesco, GlaxoSmithKline and Sainsbury are among the companies who have faced pressures from unions recently.