SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has expressed her support and solidarity with BT and Openreach staff on strike on Friday and Monday.
Ms McLaughlin visited the Communication Workers Union (CWU) picket line in Derry on Friday to meet with staff and discuss their concerns.
She encouraged the company to meet with union leaders and reach an agreement with staff.
Ms McLaughlin said:
“I visited with striking BT and Openreach workers at the CWU picket line in Derry on Friday to listen to their concerns and show my solidarity as they campaign for fair pay. Following a derisory pay offer by the company, staff have been left feeling like they had no other option and it’s extremely disappointing that the company have allowed things to escalate to this point.
“These staff perform a vital role in our society and deserve to be compensated fairly for it. We rely on the essential work of BT and Openreach staff to keep our broadband and phone services running. They are also depended on by the likes of the NHS and worked tirelessly to keep people connected during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This strike comes as BT announces sales growth and profits and after a huge sum was awarded to shareholders. Staff aren’t asking for the earth, they are dealing with the worsts costs crisis in living memory that has left many people struggling to make ends meet and they deserve to be paid a fair wage. I’m urging BT to get back around the table with the unions and negotiate a pay rise that reflects the important work these staff do, no worker wants to go on strike and I will continue to support BT and Openreach staff until their contribution is properly recognised.”