"WE’RE sick and tired of the hypocrisy."

That’s the view of BT Open Reach workers who were striking in Haverfordwest today over pay conditions.

Under the Communications Workers Union, 40,000 workers are expected to walk out with picket lines planned across the country today, Friday, July 29, and a second strike planned for Monday.

CWU say BT Group executive Phillip Jansen terminated discussion on pay, implementing a single payment of £1,500 to staff while at the same time receiving a 32 per cent pay rise, raising his pay to £3.5million, and authorising similar rises for senior executives.

BT's offer to staff is said to be a pay rise of 2.5 to 7 per cent, with inflation set to hit above 10 per cent.

Chris Harold, assistant branch secretary, who was at the demonstration outside the Open Reach offices in Haverfordwest, said his staff have had enough.

“Our members are sick and tired of the hypocrisy,” said Chris.

“BT say they cannot afford it (the pay rise) but they recently paid £760million to shareholders.

“Open Reach is underpinning society. We are the key to how Britain performs in the labour market and we hope this will bring BT back to the negotiating table.”

Western Telegraph: BT workers on strike over pay conditionsBT workers on strike over pay conditions

Elizabeth Watson MS was also at the demonstration in support of the workers. 

The Welsh Labour representative for Mid and West Wales said you can not expect people to be able to live through this cost of living crisis with the current pay they are receiving.

“I fully support these guys in their action,” said Ms Watson. “They have not had a substantial pay rise in three years.

“People cannot go on like that. There has been massive inflation rises in food and fuel costs and these are people who are already just meeting to pay there basic needs.”

Western Telegraph: The BT office in HaverfordwestThe BT office in Haverfordwest


BT said it engaged in 'exhaustive discussions' with the union before finally deciding on a £1,500 payment, which it said is its "highest pay award in more than 20 years" for workers.”

What do you think? Do you support the strike? Let us know.

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