BT wants union to come back to the bargain table

BT's (NYSE: BT) top brass has reached out to the Communication Workers Union (CWA), a group that represents about half of its 128,000 of its workers, with a hope they can resolve its pay raise dispute with the union.

This latest development comes after a CWA official said last Friday that it would like hammer out a compromise on BT's proposed pay increase for 2010 and 2011. However, the CWA has not given a specific proposal to BT yet.

"Given this, we call on the union to postpone the ballot and return to formal discussions with the company. Industrial action is unnecessary and would only benefit our competitors so we look forward to any new proposal from the union," BT said in a brief statement.

CWA said it would meet with BT if they are willing to raise their proposed offer. On Friday, ballot papers were sent to the 55,000 BT union workers, advising them to vote to strike--the first since 1987--over the company's pay raise proposals.

After the CWA asked for a 5 percent raise this year, BT countered with a 2 percent increase in 2010 and a three percent raise in 2011. Prospect, a union that represents 30,000 BT workers, had agreed to a 2 percent raise.

For more:
- Wall Street Journal's article chronicles this development (sub. req.)

Related articles:
BT workers reject new pay raise offer
BT hopes to ward off strike with new pay raise offer
BT could have a strike on its hands
BT could be laying off even more workers
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