CWU picket line, Liverpool CWU picket line, Liverpool. Photo: Tayo Aluko

Tayo Aluko reports on the second day of the CWU’s national BT OpenReach strike from his local picket line in Liverpool

In the space of about 30 minutes in which I joined the strikers outside BT’s offices on Old Hall Street, Liverpool, I learned that very few workers had crossed the picket line, other than 999 call handlers who had been encouraged by the union to exempt themselves from the action.

The workers had earlier been joined by various Liverpool/North West MPs, including Dan Carden, Iain Byrne, Angela Eagle and Kim Johnson, as well as several members of the public. Several cars tooted their horns as they drove by.

A member of the local management (who are not on strike) showed up too. He related that they grievances too, with only a minimal pay increase in three years despite a doubling of their workload. A management colleague had been asked by local bosses to investigate some trouble at another site, which turned out to be a supplier being unable to gain access to a depot as the strikers had deliberately not brought keys with them.

Another indication of the success of the strike was the complete absence of BT and Openreach vans on the streets. With the bosses continuing to refuse to negotiate with the union, more action is anticipated, including possible escalation leading to more severe disruption.

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