BT accused of ‘abusing goodwill of staff’ after reporting profits

BT has been accused of “abusing the goodwill” of its staff by unions, after reporting it makes £32 profit a second.

The telecommunications giant revealed it made a £1bn profit in the 12 months to April, compared with a £244m loss the year before, but the firm has had to cut 35,000 jobs in the past two years.

The Communication Workers Unions (CWU) said the profits meant BT could afford to increase its “insulting” offer of a 2% pay rise for its employees. BT saw a freeze on pensionable pay last year, but the union is now calling for a 5% pay award.

Andy Kerr, deputy leader of the CWU, said: “BT is investing in the future of the business. We welcome that but also want to see the company invest in its workforce.”

The union has already threatened to ballot for industrial action if the firm refuses to raise the offer to its engineers and staff in shops and call centres.

Kerr said BT had reduced its costs by £1.8bn in the past year, mainly by shedding jobs, and is eyeing another £900m of savings this year, which will mean more job losses, the Daily Mirror reported.

Ian Livingston, chief executive of BT, said the offer was in line with the rest of the industry, and he believed a deal would be reached.

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