I understand that, following disagreements about potential job cuts and site closures, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will hold a ballot on possible industrial action.
I appreciate concerns about the impact industrial action may have, particularly when so many employees are working from home compared to pre-pandemic levels.
I share the Government’s position that disputes are best handled through negotiation between the parties. Strikes and other forms of industrial action should be regarded as a last resort after attempts to resolve differences through dialogue have been exhausted.
I understand that the CWU, which represents 45,000 BT Group staff, has insisted that the “door is still open” and that a BT spokesperson confirmed that the company remains “committed to discussing the concerns they have raised”. I hope that the talks continue and a solution can be found without any industrial action. I will monitor any developments closely.