The threat of strike action at BT grew today after the Communication Workers Union (CWU) announced that the telco had failed to improve on its offer of a two per cent pay rise.
The CWU said that it will now ballot its 50,000 BT members on the possibility of strike action.
CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said that BT's failure to improve on its original offer is not acceptable when set against the company's strong financial performance.
"We've made our position very clear. Two per cent is not good enough when the company is making profits of over £1bn, paying shareholders a six per cent dividend and paying out large sums to senior executives," he said.
"Our members are angry about the double standards when it comes to pay for those at the top compared to the rest of staff. We're asking for a fair and affordable share of BT's success. If it's good enough for the executives it's good enough for staff."
The CWU has called for a five per cent pay increase, which it said will amount to BT giving up just 3.6 per cent of its free cash flow.
However, BT disagreed with the union's interpretation of its offer, claiming that it actually amounts to a four per cent increase. BT said that it is willing to continue talks to end the deadlock.
"Industrial action is in no-one's interests and it would be disproportionate given that our offer could see the average union member get a package worth around four per cent," the company said in a statement.
"This offer is fair, realistic and more generous than those accepted by the union elsewhere."
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