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BT Group staff set for another walkout in pay row

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BT Group Employees will go on a national strike over pay next month, joining a wave of industrial action as inflation reaches 40-year highs.

A union representing workers at the telecommunications firm and its networking unit Openreach made the announcement on Wednesday, September 21.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said that 40,000 workers, including BT Group's 999 emergency call handlers, will be going on strike on October 6th, 10th, 20th, and 24th.

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In July and August, the CWU staged similar walkouts over pay.

In Britain, rising prices have driven workers in industries ranging from railways and airlines to barristers and even trade union staff to threaten or engage in strike action over pay and conditions.

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With an annual consumer price increase of 9.9 percent in August and economists estimating inflation to peak at nearly 11 percent in October, the CWU said BT's pay offer reflected a real terms pay cut.

The corporation announced a 1,500 pound-per-year hike in April, a 5 percent jump on average, and has stated that it would not revisit its 2022 pay review.

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General Secretary of the union, Dave Ward said: "This dispute is modern Britain in a nutshell: Lives are at risk because a company's top brass won't listen to workers.”

A BT Group spokesperson said: "We will do whatever it takes to protect 999 services – redeploying our people to the most important priority is a normal part of BT operations.

"We are profoundly disappointed that CWU is prepared to take this reckless course of action, but we respect the right of colleagues to strike."

Source: Reuters

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