Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/571/7055
£2.5 bn profit, but BT still announces pay freeze
BT has joined the long list of companies announcing a pay freeze. In an e-mail to staff sent on 11 March they announced that due to the difficult financial situation it would not be appropriate to incur additional costs.
Despite high profile profit warnings, BT still made £2.5 billion in profit. In three of its four divisions it performed ahead of expectations. The problem was that its Global Services division performed much worse than the City was told it would. Management screw up and the workers are expected to pay!
It's very hard to believe that a company that hasn't made a loss since 1974 is broke. BT are merely using the economic crisis as a cover. If BT is that skint they won't mind opening the books. They are trying to be clever by saying that senior managers will also have their pay frozen but haven't ruled out paying some bonuses. If there is money available for bonuses, it should be shared equally amongst all staff not restricted to a few managers!
BT has generated an extra £635 million in revenue in the first nine months of the financial year. A significant pay increase for BT workers would only cost a small percentage of this.
The CWU have rejected the pay freeze and will be meeting next week to decide their response.
It's hard not to draw the conclusion that if the BT unions hadn't accepted BT's attacks on pensions without a fight, a pay freeze wouldn't have been proposed.
A BT worker
In The Socialist 19 March 2009:
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