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by Our Industrial Reporter @TrinderMatt
THOUSANDS of BT and Openreach workers showed their determination to address their declining real-terms pay by taking another day of strike action today.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), including call centre staff and engineers, walked out for a second day after a 24-hour strike on Friday.
The public were urged to drop off donations for foodbanks at picket lines nationwide after BT Group workers were given a pay increase of just £1,500 — well below soaring inflation.
Earlier this year, mobile network operator EE, part of the group, established a foodbank for its employees, leading chief executive Philip Jansen to be nicknamed “Foodbank Phil.”
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “BT Group workers have shown their determination as they took to hundreds of picket lines across the country.
“But they have also shown their kindness in collecting a huge amount for foodbanks.
“When politicians and bosses fail working-class people in this country, the working class themselves will step up.”
A company spokesperson said BT respects the right of employees to strike but was working to “minimise any disruption.”
Meanwhile, campaigners called on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to “immediately announce” the party’s support for all striking workers after shadow levelling-up secretary Lisa Nandy visited a BT and Openreach picket line in her Wigan constituency today.
The move came days after the Labour leader sacked shadow transport minister Sam Tarry for giving interviews on a picket line at London’s Euston station alongside striking RMT rail workers.
Momentum co-chair Hilary Schan said: “Labour should support labour.
“Starmer should immediately announce Labour’s support for workers taking strike action to defend their livelihoods.
“It’s time to end the confusion and show the public whose side Labour is on: the workers of this country.”
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