Strike threat at BT could seriously hurt businesses

Members of the CWU, Communication Workers Union, at BT have rejected a new pay offer from telco, which may lead to about 50,000 workers striking in the near future.  If the strike occurs, it will be the first of its type in over twenty years.

The CWU represents thousands of workers such as call centre staff and engineers.  If the engineers choose to strike the BT network will fail to keep its high standard of support.  If these types of problems occur, then tens of thousands of consumers including business consumers will lose internet connections.

Last week the CWU moved to ballot its BT members after a two percent pay increase was offered to them, the results of which will determine if BT staff will walk out in frustration.

A CWU spokeswoman stated that the strike would be felt the most on the engineering side because if network failures occur while the engineers are not there then large problems will ensue.

The spokeswoman continued to say that call centres would also have problems resulting from the strike but BT can use Indian operations to make up for the striking workers.

A spokesman for BT stated that the company is hoping to avoid the strike but has made plans for its occurrence which will see staff cover for those that are on strike.  BT can also turn to its third part options such as Openreach which is supported by third party firms Telent and Carillion.