Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2021

CWU BT ballot - time for action now!

BT office, photo Albert Bridge/CC

BT office, photo Albert Bridge/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party members in CWU

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced the intention to hold a ballot for industrial action, the aim being to use a massive 'yes' vote as leverage to defend jobs and worksites across all BT Groups.

Well-attended virtual meetings have seen the CWU negotiating team and members of the telecoms and financial services section explain to members the issues involved and why the union needs a huge yes vote.

The problem for the union is that, increasingly, members want to know when the ballot will take place. They say quite rightly that they've heard the rationale to support the union across all media platforms, they now wish to know when that will be.

For their part, the telecoms and financial services section quite rightly wants to take time getting the membership list as accurate as possible to reduce the excuses for a BT legal challenge under the anti-union laws. The problem is they've taken so long doing this that members in WhatsApp groups are reporting that managers are raising their heads and, along with spreading misinformation, are sending individual messages to young engineers warning that to vote for a strike will breach contract and they can be sacked. Others are reporting that the drawn-out process of the CWU has led to managers putting pressure on members affected by site closures to accept voluntary release in advance of any ballot.

In short, CWU procrastination is allowing BT management the chance to dominate the narrative. On social media the telecoms and financial services section say they have imaginative alternatives that they would like to propose in negotiations. A small but growing section of members are responding with a definite silence to this as it hardly inspires confidence given the issues at stake.

That said, the overwhelming mood at the moment is to support the CWU and vote yes for strike action. Instinctively, members understand that without the union, management would have free rein across all workplaces and BT groups. It is clear that the new BT senior management and board are in no mood to offer concessions. BT management appears to simply want to smash the CWU.

To build on the existing momentum that has been built across all BT groups by the union, it is absolutely essential that the CWU telecoms and financial services section announces a timetable for an industrial action ballot. Any further delay risks a growing sense of disillusionment setting in.

Announce a timetable! Vote 'yes' for industrial action! No job losses, no cuts in work locations!

Scotland No2 CWU branch secretary and Socialist Party Scotland member Gary Clark has been unanimously nominated by his branch as a candidate for the CWU national executive and postal executive in upcoming elections.

Gary says: "I will be standing as a clear socialist and on a fighting programme on behalf of the membership, I will only take the average wage of a postal worker and will put the rest back into the movement."

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 21 April 2021:

What we think

Build a Socialist alternative

Capitalism discriminates against us - Disabled people fighting for our rights


Football: no trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game


Left candidate, Pedro Castillo - surprise of Peruvian elections

USA: cop killings and the anti-racist movement

Superpowers' tensions continue to ratchet up


Don't trust the Labour right's empty promises

Fight to stop cuts

Keep Liverpool council's One Stop Shops open

Liverpool hustings - only TUSC has a strategy to take on the Tories

Essex: Why I'm standing for TUSC

Carlisle campaign day success

Socialist Party northern region meeting

With public campaigning back in full swing - now is the time to raise fighting fund


Socialist Party members - part of a left challenge for Unison's leadership

Fight back against British Gas bosses' 'fire and rehire' offensive

Retail workers desperately need a fighting and democratic union

CWU BT ballot - time for action now!

Thurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts

Bus workers protest Go-Ahead's 'fire and rehire'

Ballots to defend reps on Woolwich Ferry

PCS leadership ballot underway


Long Covid: Fight for jobs, benefits and services

Climate change - Johnson spouts 'greenwash 2.0'

Covid and precarious workers - union organisation vital

News in brief


Housing activists storm rental firm's offices

Protests continue against proposed anti-protest laws


Home   |   The Socialist 21 April 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleCWU members' resolve to strike still firm as union enters talks

triangleBT Openreach engineers step up the pressure with five-day strike action

triangleThousands of BT workers to ballot for strike action

triangleOpenreach and EE: Massive vote for action

triangleFight BT redundancies


triangleCWU conference debates the union's political strategy

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleRoyal Mail workers stand against 'unachievable workloads'

triangleReinstate Gary Evans! Llanelli postal workers strike


triangleWider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

triangleDefying unjust laws - a rich history of struggle

triangleRemembering Tony Davison


triangleBattle with BT management needed to win real pay rise

triangleEE puts workers' health and safety at risk

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Defying unjust laws - a rich history of struggle



Yorkshire Stagecoach bus workers' week-long strike



Remembering Tony Davison



Thousands of Tesco warehouse workers to strike



Universities strike - build the action and stand united to win



Clarks strikers defeat 'fire and rehire'



Organise to win the NEU's 8% pay demand



Sheffield Just East couriers picket and march for pay rise


Waltham Forest

Challenge cutters and evictors in Waltham Forest Council


Fighting Fund

Fighting Fund: Help us reach over 50,000



Affordable housing for all


Refuse workers

Sandwell bin workers beat Serco and win pay rise



Worksop Wincanton logistics workers on strike



Newham Sixth Form College begins strike against academisation



Panasonic workers break company pay freeze

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

December 2021

November 2021

October 2021

September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021