BT boss’s bonus provokes staff strike threat

Staff at UK telecommunications giant BT are threatening to strike over a 2% pay rise offer. The news follows the revelation that CEO Ian Livingstone will receive a £1.2 million bonus this year.

Members of the Communication Workers Union, which represents 55,000 of BT’s 100,000 employees, are calling for a 5% pay rise. Unless BT improves its offer by June 2, CWU members will vote on a full strike, which would be the first strike at the company since 1987 were it to take place.

Ian Livingstone’s £1.2 million bonus was revealed earlier this month as the company reported annual profits of £1 billion.

"BT can afford a decent pay rise for staff this year, there’s no doubt about that,” said Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary in a statement. “We don’t mind senior executives getting bonuses, but we want all staff to share in the success of the company.”

Pay disputes and threats of industrial action have been common in the UK’s IT industry of late. IT services suppliers Siemens and Fujitsu have both been threatened will strike by workers in this country during the past six months, while HP workers walked out for one day earlier this year.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media (now Bonhill Group plc) from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The...

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