BT workers reject new pay raise offer

BT's (NYSE: BT) hope to peacefully settle its pay raise dispute hit another roadblock yesterday when members of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) did not accept a revised pay increase. As a result, the CWU, which represents 50,000 BT workers, said it would conduct a strike ballot.

Although BT has a contingency plan in place, the fear is that because the majority of the CWU members conduct network maintenance and work in the service provider's call centers, a strike could cause widespread service and maintenance disruptions.

At issue is that the CWU wants a 5 percent raise in 2010 for its CWU members. Yesterday, BT agreed to keep the 2 percent pay increase for 2010 and then offer a 3 percent raise for 2011. And while CWU said it is willing to meet with BT executives again, the union rejected the new offer.  

"Staff are comparing this offer with the larger salary rises and bonuses for senior executives, which expose the blatant double standards being adopted by the company when it comes to remuneration," said the CWU in a statement.

The battle between the unions and BT comes as the company has tried to reverse its financial footing after suffering various problems with BT Global Services with various cost cutting measures.

For more:
- FT has this article (reg. req.)

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