BT employees across Dundee, Perthshire and Fife took part in the company’s first strike in 35 years on Friday.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) announced the strike earlier this month after the majority of their members voted for industrial action.
The union plans to hold a further 24-hour strike on Monday.
Strikers are demanding BT return to the negotiating table and settle a new pay deal which aligns with inflation rates.
In April, employees were offered a pay increase of £1,500, however this was deemed unacceptable.
Employees at Dundee’s BT office say ‘enough is enough’
Workers at Dundee’s Ward Road office, Perth’s Glenearn Road building, as well as staff in Kirkcaldy formed protests and picket lines in an attempt to highlight the cause.
In Dundee, a crowd of protesters gathered waving banners and playing songs from a portable speaker.
Pauline Rourke, who has been employed by BT for more than 40 years, said: “£1,500 isn’t a fair settlement when you’re looking at inflation and the cost of living crisis.
“We’ve come out collectively, BT and Openreach employees, to say that enough is enough.
“We’re really proud of the members in Dundee and throughout the UK.
“This week especially we have been inundated with texts, emails and Whatsapps, as well as people joining us on the picket line.
“It’s fantastic, we’ve got other people who are flooding social media as well.
“You can hear from the tooting that we’ve got the public’s support too.”
Strikers hit out at CEO’s £3.5 million wage
Other BT employees striking in Dundee called out BT CEO Philip Jansen for receiving a 32% pay rise last year – taking his total salary to £3.5 million.
Picketer Corrie Reilly said: “I think it’s Philip Jansen and a lot of the stuff we’ve seen in the newspapers which has been the driver for us to come out here.
“That and the gap between people’s pay.
“We’ve been given this £1,500 pay increase but we’re not all on the same pay grade.
“There’s such a disparity between the people on the lower grades and people on the higher grades.
“When you see the bigger bosses getting more money you think ‘why aren’t we getting anything?’.
“The people at the bottom are the ones who make the company work.
“We do the work.”
BT spokesperson: ‘We won’t be re-opening the 2022 pay review’
Despite more than 40,000 workers across the UK going on strike, BT has refused to budge from its original offer.
A spokesperson said: “At the start of this year, we were in exhaustive discussions with the CWU that lasted for two months, trying hard to reach an agreement on pay.
“When it became clear that we were not going to reach an accord, we took the decision to go ahead with awarding our team member and frontline colleagues the highest pay award in more than 20 years, effective April 1.
“We have confirmed to the CWU that we won’t be re-opening the 2022 pay review, having already made the best award we could.
“We’re balancing the complex and competing demands of our stakeholders and that includes making once-in-a-generation investments to upgrade the country’s broadband and mobile networks, vital for the UK economy and for BT Group’s future – including our people.
“While we respect the choice of our colleagues who are CWU members to strike, we will work to minimise any disruption and keep our customers and the country connected.
“We have tried and tested processes for large scale colleague absences to minimise any disruption for our customers and these were proved during the pandemic.”