The UK’s main communications union has denounced ‘hypocrisy, greed and arrogance’ among UK board leaders as hundreds of emergency call operators join a strike .
Meanwhile, the Royal College of Nursing has launched ‘the biggest strike ballot in its 106-year history’, the latest in a wave of social unrest sparked by a cost-of-living squeeze.
The Communications Workers Union, on behalf of BT staff, is protesting a £1,500 pay rise given to 58,000 frontline workers in April, which equates to between 3-8% depending on base pay and an average salary increase of 4.8%.
More than 500 operators will join the strikes. The union previously exempted staff handling 999 emergency calls from taking industrial action, but has since changed its position.
“BT’s chief executive and board need to come into the room, get their hands dirty and start negotiating,” CWU chief executive Dave Ward told Sky News on Thursday. “These people refuse to negotiate. All the other disputes in the UK at the moment actually involve talks.
Philip Jansen, chief executive of Britain’s biggest telecommunications group BT, rejected in July the idea of raising the company’s wage offer.
“There is a disease in the UK today in the boardroom of hypocrisy, greed and arrogance and until that changes you will see more and more strikes,” Ward said Thursday.
UK households are facing cost of living pressure as winter approaches with inflation at its highest level in 40 years, prompting many people including nurses, train drivers, staff railway and postal workers, to lower their tools and to demand more wages.
The nurses’ union votes its 300,000 British members and asks them to support the strike. He is campaigning for a 5 percent rise above inflation.
The CWU also announced a 19-day strike for postal workers in the run-up to Christmas.