British Telecom Freezes Pay of all Staff
British Telecom has frozen the pay all of their 100,000 employees, which includes the pay of Ian Livingston, the Chief Executive Officer of the company. The decision is being blamed on the economic recession and is the most recent blow to the workers of Britain, while British Telecom is facing a possible multi-billion pound shortfall in their £33 billion pension fund. The management of British Telecom informed workers of the decision through a series of meetings yesterday. The company also contacted the unions, Connect and Communication Workers Union, who represent a majority of the staff combined.
In a message that leaked to the Guardian, British Telecom told employees that this isn’t a decision they have taken lightly. They have considered the conditions of the economy carefully, as well as the Retail Price Index and the pressures of business faces, concluding that freezing pay is the right action to take, continued the message. In previous years, the company has awarded increases in pay that were in line or more than the Retail Price Index, the message said. The company added that the index is predicted to go negative this year, meaning that prices are declining.
The leaders of the unions don’t agree with the decision. Andy Kerr, the Deputy General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said that the decision from British Telecom is totally unacceptable, as they are still making significant profits. A cut in pay during these circumstances is an insult, and the union will be considering a formal response to this imposition early next week, he added.