BT Group and Openreach workers announce further strike action

Company's logo is displayed at British Telecom (BT) headquarters in London, Britain, November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said on Friday it had served notice on BT Group (BT.L) and Openreach that its members would take further strike action on Aug. 30 and 31 in a dispute over pay.

More than 40,000 of BT's staff walked out on July 29 and Aug. 1, the first strike action in 35 years at the telecoms group. The company awarded a 1,500 pound-a-year ($1,824) rise in April, a 5% increase on average, and has said it won't be reopening its 2022 pay review.

"We know that our colleagues are dealing with the impacts of high inflation and, although we’re disappointed, we respect their decision to strike," a spokesperson for BT Group said in response to the latest strike dates.

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"We have made the best pay award we could and we are in constant discussions with the CWU to find a way forward from here. In the meantime, we will continue to work to minimise any disruption and keep our customers and the country connected."

The planned walkout adds to a wave of industrial action across industries ranging from rail to rubbish collection, as workers demand higher wages in the face of surging inflation.

The CWU said it had announced strike action covering 170,000 of its members this week, including workers at Royal Mail Group and Post Office who voted to strike in protest over pay. read more

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Reporting by Farouq Suleiman, Editing by Kylie MacLellan

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