BT urges union to postpone ballot

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The Independent Online

BT called yesterday for a strike ballot among thousands of its workers to be postponed so that fresh talks can be held to resolve a pay row.

The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) is balloting thousands of its members at the telecoms giant in support of a 5 per cent pay claim, saying BT can well afford the increase after making profits of more than £1bn.

The vote is going ahead despite moves by the company to avert industrial action, including a new pay offer it claimed was worth 5.1 per cent over 21 months, several additional one-off payments and guarantees on job security. As voting got under way yesterday, BT said it was "surprised" that the union had been indicating it was willing to compromise on its claim.

The ballot closes on 5 July.

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