BT workers in Enniskillen joined colleagues across the UK last Friday and Monday on strike against real-term pay cuts.

The historic strike action by Communication Workers Union (CWU) members – the first national strike in 35 years – was voted for by BT Group employees in rejection of management’s pay offer of £1,500 for all employees.

Outside the BT building in Enniskillen on Friday and Monday, workers stood outside the entrance at Wellington Road, with support being shown to them by passing motorists sounding their horns, as well as support coming from those walking by.

Commenting on the strike on Friday, a CWU spokesperson said it was “nothing short of rock-solid”.

They said: “In every town and city, BT Group employees manned more than 400 picket lines, showing their opposition to a management that doesn’t seem to care about them.

“Today’s strike should be a wake-up call to Philip Jansen [Chief Executive, BT] and BT Group that workers in this country will not sit idly by and watch their living standards crumble.

“The public is fed up at the level of corporate greed in this country today, and our members will be out again on Monday to tell BT Group that enough is enough.”

The CWU said in the context of RPI inflation levels approaching 12 per cent, and of BT making £1.3 billion in profit – with Jansen pocketing a 32 per cent wage increase of £3.5 million – workers found this unacceptable, and voted in overwhelming and unprecedented numbers to strike.

CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “Since BT Group workers have been forced to take historic strike action in defence of their standard of living, it’s obvious that ‘Foodbank Phil’ has no interest in their welfare.

“But his employees – our members – care about the contributions they make to the society they serve and the country they live in.

“Just like in the pandemic, working class people will step up to the plate when employers and politicians fail, and are ready to put need before greed.

“We urge all sympathetic members of the public to attend picket lines in their area and chip in to help out others.”

CWU Deputy General Secretary Andy Kerr said: “On Friday, BT Group workers took strike action and received overwhelming support from the public.

“They showed their strength, but on Monday, they will show their generosity.

“When corrupt politicians and overpaid bosses fall way short of the mark, it is working people who look after other working people.

“I have no doubt the public will show their support to workers and struggling families by turning up to picket lines, dropping off goods and standing side by side with people fighting for dignity.”

On Monday, strikers were also collecting for foodbanks as they highlighted the news that many foodbank donors are unable to carry on donating due to financial pressures.

The food collected was due to be donated on Wednesday.