It has just been announced that BT 999 call handlers will be going on strike next month (October) over a dispute relating to pay.
BT reacted angrily to the news, calling the strike action ‘reckless’.
The UK telecoms incumbent reacted to the news from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in the pair’s ongoing fight over pay.
The CWU shared that 999 workers will strike alongside 40,000 BT and Openreach staff on four separate days in October.
In a statement, a spokesperson for BT said:
“We know that our colleagues are dealing with the impacts of high inflation and, whilst we respect the right of colleagues to take industrial action, we are profoundly disappointed that the CWU is prepared to take this reckless course of action by including 999 services in strikes”.
During a meeting with BT, CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said:
“We intend to serve notice on BT Group today for four days of strike action during October.
“And we intend to up the ante – so we’ll remove all emergency cover and pull out 999 operators.”
BT said that the strike dates are set for the 6th, 10th, 20th and 24th of October.
When an individual calls 999, they are connected to a BT operator who asks the caller which service they require before the caller is put through to the relevant emergency service (Police, Ambulance, Fire or Coastguard).
A spokesperson for BT added:
“We will do whatever it takes to protect 999 services – redeploying our people to the most important priority is a normal part of BT Group operations.
“We made the best pay award we could in April and we have held discussions with the CWU to find a way forward from here.”
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