It has been reported that hundreds of 999 call centre staff are set to join the strike action planned for specific dates in October.
The Communications Workers Union has said that around 40,000 BT Group workers will strike on the 6th, 10th, 20th and 24th of October in a dispute over pay. The union expects around 400 of these people to be 999 call handlers.
A BT spokesperson has said BT Group will “do whatever it takes to protect 999 services” by redeploying staff to cover emergency calls as a priority on these days.
They added: "We are profoundly disappointed that CWU is prepared to take this reckless course of action, but we respect the right of colleagues to strike."
In previous years the union has agreed with BT that 999 call handlers would not strike, to avoid putting pressure on emergency services, however next month this will not be the case.
BT statistics show that in the UK on average more than 100,000 emergency 999 calls are received every day, with ambulance calls being the highest. These numbers have increased year on year since 2019 which saw 25 million 999 calls, compared to 2020 with 33 million emergency calls, continually putting emergency personnel and their teams under immense pressure.
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See, hold, and feel the bags up close, we’re touring the UK!
29th September - 1st October - Smithfield, Birmingham
16th - 17th October - NEC Birmingham (Stand A09)
17th - 19th October - Bournemouth
22nd November - Coventry