Workers at one of Oswestry's biggest businesses will be going on strike if a dispute between the company and its union remains unresolved.

A local spokesperson from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) confirmed that BT workers in Oswestry will go on strike after a ballot of members across the country overwhelmingly voted for strike action.

This will be the first time a strike has been called at BT since 1987, with over 90% of Openreach Engineers and call centre staff voting for the action.

The dispute is based on issues surrounding pay with the CWU asking that the company offer workers a pay rise more in line with the 11% rate of inflation.

Commenting, CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “For the first time in nearly four decades, we are faced with national level strike action across BT Group.

“Our membership faced the challenges of home working, high staff turnover, and a real culture of fear created by senior management to deliver an overwhelming show of support for strike action.

“These workers kept this country connected during the pandemic. Without CWU members working across BT Group, there would have been no home-working revolution.

“Over £700 million was paid out to shareholders. The company’s CEO, Philip Jansen, handed himself a £3.5 million pay package – a 32% increase. Over £700 million was paid out to shareholders, and the Chief Financial Officer was handed £2.2 million – a 25% increase.

“The reward for our members? The imposition of a below-inflation increase – the very same workers who delivered profits that more like lottery numbers than actual wages.

“Our members, and working people in general, have had enough.

“We will not accept seeing workers use food banks while executives use Swiss banks. For too long now, corporate bosses have been rewarded for wrecking companies, chipping away at workers’ conditions so their rich mates to get even richer.

A BT Group spokesperson said: “BT Group awarded its highest pay rise for frontline colleagues in more than 20 years – an average 5% increase and up to 8% for those on the lowest salaries.

“At the same time, we’re in the middle of a once-in-a-generation investment programme to upgrade the country’s broadband and mobile networks.

“Our job is to balance the competing demands of BT Group’s stakeholders and that requires careful management, especially in a challenging economic environment.”