back to article Striking workers will curb network upgrades, claims BT

The summer of strikes threatened by BT staff over pay could hamper the firm's efforts to improve its aged network, according to the man in charge of the work. Openreach boss Steve Robertson told the Financial Times that industrial action may mean BT misses its self-imposed upgrade target of four million premises by the end of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boo hoo.

    So sad, they miss their own self imposed deadline. A tiny tear of sadness has so far failed to trickle.

    On the "priority" list, other company strikes have carefully avoided affecting critical services like police and ambulance. I expect there will be some sort of scheme to keep them running whilst avoiding any of the "high value" customers.

  2. Lionel Baden

    The Real Reason

    This is why they refused to pay them more so they would strike.

    This then means they have a arguing point for time overruns and they save money by getting fined x amount per day !!

    BT workers used abused and then pissed on :/

  3. JimC Silver badge

    Its about time

    This pigs in the trough management pay thing was stamped on...

    The rationale is "Oh, we've got to pay the rates to get the best managers... "

    A bit of rational and logical thought, of the type that executives rarely manage tells you that actually every company can't have the best managers, and everyone ends up with average managers by definition.

    So the result of this policy is an endless ratcheting up of executive pay to quite ridiculous levels, much resentment on the part of the people who actually do the work for the customers, a constant cycle of execuritves switching between companies for the latest bestest deal and a constant torrent of quite unnecessary change and disruption because each new executive has to change things to suit his current dumb ideas based on whichever magzine article he read last month.

    Meanwhile productivity has dropped, staff resentment and satisfaction has reduced, the customer service is compromised and we get strikes because the poor bastards on the front line don't see why they have to be at the bottom of the pile when the money is handed out, and increased sick leave and stress levels because of all the change and disruption...

    1. Snowy Silver badge
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  4. jason 7

    It's alright Jack.... exchange has already been upgraded.

    15Mbps thank you for asking!

    1. Lionel Baden

      i hate you

      With all of my little black heart !!!

      You bastard !!!


  5. Anonymous Coward

    managers getting paid...

    How about not increasing the pay of the managers and board members, and only increasing the pay of the people that actually DO the work!

    The only thing management do in BT is mess crap up, and tell "The Workers" what to do, well, the workers already know how to mess things up on their own, they don't need the help for the managers. so give them the 5% they're asking for, and the managers less (or none).

    Let's be honest, the Managers will still be there when the strike happens, no work will be done, this is because the managers don't do the work that matters.

    BT: Stop giving big bonus's & pay increases to the "top dogs" they do naff all, pay the people that matter - the ones that allow you to bring more revenue in. you might find it helps in the long run.

    (it might not be helped by a personal grudge against BT :-) )

  6. Anonymous Coward


    you mean they would have delivered on time if the workers hadn't agreed to strike?

    well throw another unicorn on the barby I feel a musical number coming on.

  7. Velv Silver badge

    Managers ?

    You need to make sure you retain the best managers so that you know the MIS reports accurately tell you nothing has been completed as the staff were on strike :-)

  8. Reverend Brown


    Give everyone 2%, and you're suddenly able to afford to give everyone the same raise.

  9. theloon

    Powerpoint jockeys to climb up BT poles? - lol

    Oh I can't wait to see this one. It's hard to find a single manager at BT that has got their hands dirty in the last 20 years. It's all death by powerpoint....

    I can't wait to see some fat late 50's manager up a pole with a "street wiring diagram.ppt" in one hand and a screwdriver in the other...

    Perhaps the army of MBA people Al-Noor hired could see what is chapter 12 of "Idiots Guide to 22 Steps of the BT Operating Model" and have a crack at it too.

    Usual hilarious BT mess.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    BT I'm being Harassed !!

    Frank Spencer

  11. Jacqui


    I am currently in the process of moving from BT to another provider after roughly 20 years as a customer. Why you ask?

    Well because of two letters that arrived a week or so after the last bank holiday weekend.

    BT kindly sent the most recent quarterly bill just before the bank holiday weekend with an incentive to pay up within 4 days (actually 1 day when banks were "open" - the letter took well over a week to arrive - thanks to royal mail!) otherwise I get hit with the late payment penalty (aka "early payment incentive").

    Stuff this I thought, they can wait until after the weekend hols and I will pay it then. So later that week toddles off to local post orifice and pays now roughly 5 days late bills.

    The letters that *really* pissed me off arrived together two weeks later - sent the day afetr I paid the bills.

    1) a **disconnection** notice unless I called then that *day* and gave them my (non existent) credit card!

    2) a tailored "valued customer" mega discount offer offering me some services I already have via BT.

    I called 1) and asked if the payment had arrived they said yes but I will get some MORE threatening letters and I should ignore them! So, BT are now so desperate for cash they will cut off any customer who fails to pay thier bill in less that two weeks - or are the disconnection threats merely that.

    Me I take threats personally.


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    remind me again ?

    I started to list BT's failures over the past x-years. To see if they could be blamed on striking workers.

    But got bored.

    So here's two.

    A mobile network ? You used to have one of those. They are quite popular these days I understand.

    Phorm ? No, really. No more need be said.

    Two completely different examples with a common cause. Poor management.

    BT always seem to suffer from the most throughly inept standards of management. But now they have a new excuse for their failings.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Poor management.

      >Phorm ? No, really. No more need be said.


      Ian Livingston trousered £1.2 million in bonuses this year alone. Thats £3,300 a day, or an hourly rate of £400/hour.

      I was told "crime doesn't pay". I think I was misled.

  13. jason 7

    Inept BT managers?

    We had one join our company in the IT dept a few years ago.

    The Poison Dwarf we called him.

    Basically made a once nice place to work a total hell hole and now he sits alone surrounded by hundreds of £500+ a day yes-men contractors rather than the original staff that knew what they were doing but he has driven away.

  14. DaveB

    Will anybody notice?

    The description of the service during the strike sounds exactly the service we get now.

    Our local Exchange is set for upgrade in Q4 2009 but no update on when this will actually happen.

    Next door recently asked BT to take down their phone line, from the pole across the street while building work took place, which they did, but BT refused to reconnect them as they said that the pole was below legal height.

    When I had broadband put in by BT the engineer after climbing the same pole told me that there was a line fault on one of the poles in the street, but as he was an installation engineer he was only allowed to look at the pole linked to the property. We then had to wait for "Poles" to arrive so they could check out the poles in the street. When this failed to find a fault we then had to wait for another engineer to go into the street box. By the end of the day 6 different BT vans and lorries had visited.

    1. theloon

      only 6 vans! lol


  15. mj1

    the real truth

    if the deadline for network upgrades is missed the top managers may not get their bonus next year

  16. andy, bacup

    stuff happens?

    Classic British management - it's always somebody else's fault.

    Two questions:

    1) who recruited their workforce in the first place?

    2) if managers are just innocent bystanders why do they get paid as if they have responsibilities?

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