The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced plans to ballot its members working for BT, including Openreach and EE. The union said a ballot would take place “barring a dramatic eleventh-hour about-turn by a belligerent new senior management team which has now spent more than a year pursuing a brutal and needlessly confrontational agenda.”
BT Group plan a restructure which the CWU says will involve site closures, job cuts, and attacks on terms and conditions, including pension arrangements. In December 2020, CWU members in BT voted by a 97.9% majority for industrial action in a consultative ballot, on a 74% turnout. If replicated in a formal ballot, this result would smash the thresholds imposed by anti-strike legislation.
Strikes would be the first BT-wide industrial action since 1987. CWU members working as Repayment Project Engineers (RPEs) for Openreach, part of the BT Group, have been striking in a dispute against regrading.
The CWU said the union would “set out the exact timetable [for the ballot] in the coming weeks”.