The fallout between the union and BT concern the telecom company’s plans to close sites across the country over the next few years to concentrate its operations in 30 sites. This is partly due to BT’s accelerated push towards fibre broadband and 5G networks.
“We didn’t pick this fight,” said deputy general secretary Andy Kerr.
“In fact we’ve provided management with every possible opportunity to step back from the brink, consistently offering to work in partnership with the business to address whatever challenges it faces – just as we’ve done on numerous occasions over the decades since privatisation.
“What we’re not prepared to accept, however, is seeing members’ cherished job security and Ts&Cs being attacked on multiple fronts – with longstanding colleagues being picked off one by one, simply because a new breed of management wants to stamp its mark by making compulsory redundancies as a matter of warped principle.
“If BT don’t want us to ballot then they can have us back round the negotiating table just as soon as they want. Our door is still open, and we want to resolve this dispute, but this will require a huge shift in attitude from the company. At this point in time that doesn’t look as if it’s going to happen – and that’s why we’re gearing up to fight.”