back to article Strike days should serve as 'wake-up call' to BT's top brass, says union

The two days of strike action by BT call center operators and engineers at the Openreach subsidiary should act as a “wake-up call” to the executive management team at the British telco but no further dates are yet scheduled. On July 29 and August 1, tens of thousands of unionized workers at the former state owned business laid …

  1. Howard Sway Silver badge

    We kept the network running safely and effectively, as we do every day

    You mean that you were lucky that no crucial equipment failed that day, so no urgent repairs were needed, and no bad headlines emerged. Are the upper management of a major communications company really thinking a "hope nothing goes wrong" strategy will work for them long term?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We kept the network running safely and effectively, as we do every day

      Don't be silly. The upper management strategy is "What could possibly go wrong?"

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: We kept the network running safely and effectively, as we do every day

        Upper management is like:

        So they didn't work for a couple of days and nobody noticed? We should reduce shifts and let some people go.

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Maths

    Even 10% pay rise is an effective pay cut, because they don't take into account excessive taxes.

    They should ask for 20% at very least - to match inflation and to have some padding as it is not going to stop any time soon.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Maths

      Then you risk run away inflation.

      The next step will be a price hike in bills. Then people will want more increases.

      I don't know what the answer is as most inflationary issues currently are external, but a 20% increase won't happen.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Maths

        Inflation is caused by printing money that don't come from creating value. This creates imbalance of supply and demand - money is worth less, so corporations have to put prices up to compensate.

        Increasing wages is a must to balance it out.

        Government should stop printing money and stop any contracts funded by this organised theft.

        1. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: Maths

          Increasing wages will increase demand exactly at the point we need to reduce it. This is economics 101.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            You have to ask "demand for what?" Food? Warmth? A family life? Basics and essentials? These are demands that exist anyway.

          2. DJO Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            Increasing wages will put more money into the local economy stimulating local businesses and adding to employment options.

            This is Economics 101.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Maths

              You have to make sure it goes to the local economy though. Not e.g. Amazon that arguably returns little locally.

            2. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Maths

              Both of you are correct. Increasing wages will lead to more workers with more money, which stimulates demand for most goods, some of which are still in limited supply for other things, so the prices of those go up, which causes price inflation. This works great while there's a lot of resources to absorb it, for example a company with tons of profits which go to workers instead of investors. It doesn't work for companies that don't have enough money to do that, who have to increase their prices, requiring higher wages to afford them. Low inflation is best for everyone, but getting there while hurting the fewest people is a challenging task. I won't say what BT should do here, but there's a reason that wages can't be infinite and a reason that people need wage increases right now, and a balance will eventually be needed between these things or we'll have a larger economic problem.

      2. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

        Re: Maths

        This argument is maintainable right up to the point where the boss gets a 32% increase, and apparently that's fine?

        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Re: Maths

          The central tenet of modern conservative thought is that you motivate the poor by paying them less and motivate the rich by paying them more.

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            No it isn't.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Maths

              your right sort of, it's trickle down.

              "we piss on you and tell you it's raining gold"

        2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Maths

          Yes, you forgot about progressive tax that is punishing high earners. Boss is likely paying 50% or more of effective tax, so his pay rise should be compensated for that.

          Inflation % rate does not take into account progressive tax, so high earners are more affected by inflation actually.

          1. Tom 38 Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            Inflation % rate does not take into account progressive tax, so high earners are more affected by inflation actually.

            thomas_had_never_seen_such_bullshit.jpg

            1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

              Re: Maths

              Inflation is based on net prices, but wage increases are calculated before tax.

              Someone on basic tax rate pay less for their £1 than someone on higher rate, so inflation affects them more as their money is more expensive for them.

              Someone on £30k pays about £25 for their £100 and someone on £100k pays £52 for their £100.

              1. TRT Silver badge

                Re: Maths

                Yet you have to look at HOW the inflation index is weighted to understand exactly how CPIH, as a measure, affects the "buying power" of the net take home pay for different pay bands.

                As an exaggerated example, if you were to calculate inflationary pressure based purely on the price of, say, offal which is consumed as a staple by 90% of those in the poverty income band but only by 0.1% of those in the "executive" pay band, a 50% increase in the price of offal have more effect on the very lowest income households than the very highest. For BOTH groups to then claim a 50% increase in pay on the basis of inflationary pressure would not have the same effect on standards of living. If the cost of luxury overseas holidays quadrupled, it would be a financial blow for CEOs but not cleaners for whom such a lifestyle would be aspirational if not impossible. Thus the "average shopping basket", being required to give a single figure representing the cost of living, has to be weighted in a certain fashion.

                Price rises then, depending on their cause and on the goods and services affected, can be immensely complex in the effect on the economy both as a whole and at an individual level.

                1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                  Re: Maths

                  What you say confirms what I wrote. You ignore the cost of money for high earners that inflation is compounding.

                  Weighting also means massaging the numbers so it looks good for the particular political agenda and exploiting crabs in the bucket mentality.

                  I have given objective example why inflation costs high earners more which is conveniently ignored out of envy rather than looking at what detrimental effect on the economy it actually has. We should be levelling up, not leveling down.

                  1. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Maths

                    "the cost of money for high earners"?

                    Would you care to explain that?

                  2. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Maths

                    And the weighting applied by the ONS isn't "massaged to fit a political agenda" - it's an attempt to create a robust measure of the financial health of the nation which can be used as an input to fiscal policy! The ONS does a huge amount of work trying to give the best measures it can to Parliament and the nation.

                    One example of that are Household Cost Indicators, which instead of measuring price changes measures how much of a household's income is used up in providing a similar standard of living - housing, food, heating, clothing, transport, leisure etc.

                    Inflation can hit different income groups differently, as I explained in another post. A low income family will most likely be living off Own Brand Value lines, which carry a margin of around 5-10% over the raw cost, whereas a middle income family might be consuming Own Brand normal or Luxury range food stuffs with a markup of 30-50%. The highest income families might well be consuming only Luxury brand lines with a 70 - 100% margin. Income rises lag price rises by a considerable amount - you just have to look at this inflationary spike to see that inside of 6 months things like Value Line pasta have jumped from 20p a pack to 69p a pack - inflation of over 300%, whereas wages haven't gone up. Lines with a higher markup have that rise in raw costs absorbed by a more gradual increase in prices giving the household's income a chance to catch up. If a company can spread their costs increase over a year, then the annual round of salary negotiations has a chance to catch up too. A low income household, even if they were given an automatic annual cost-of-living rise equal to the prevailing CPI figure for that preceding year, may have to weather the storm of a spike in prices for up to 12 months. Living hand-to-mouth is a different ball game. In order to pay for increased prices, higher income households can do that by tapping into savings or lines of credit or realising assets rather than having to make room in their day-to-day income source by juggling the relative percentage of outgoings.

                  3. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Maths

                    "inflation costs high earners more"

                    Thats the funniest shittist take I have ever had to read.

              2. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: Maths

                So if I understand you correctly, someone on circa £2m pays about £75 for their £100 and thus needs a 32% pay increase.

                Given the Additional rate tax is 45% and NI at this level is 3.25%, I'm having problems with the numbers unless they employ some very well-heeled accountants/financial advisors who take circa 25% of earnings for their services.

                1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                  Re: Maths

                  Someone on £2m pays £91 for their £100.

                  You can go to https://listentotaxman.com/ and calculate yourself.

                  1. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Maths

                    Just did that... Please explain how you reached this figure of 91%...

                    If I put in £2m gross, the calculator says the net is just over £1m. That's 48% paid as tax (incl NI), not 91% as you suggest.

                    1. Roland6 Silver badge

                      Re: Maths

                      Also just did that, although I used £2.7M ie. 2M * 1.32 rounded up.

                      Also got 48% paid as tax.

                      Suspect the table was misread: Total Tax Due (44%) + Total Deductions (47%) = 91%

                      And the line: Net Wage (52%) was overlooked.

                      Finally, as part of the award is down to previous share awards, the actual tax due will be less.

                    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                      Re: Maths

                      Monthly net is £87k and monthly gross is £166k.

                      87 * 1.91 = 166.

                      Therefore each £100 costs you £91.

                      1. TRT Silver badge

                        Re: Maths

                        Nope. Still not getting that.

                        You're saying that in order to give someone an extra £100 in their pocket, you have to increase their salary by £191?

                        By that argument, for the staffers on minimum wage, to put £100 in their pockets you need to spend £116. Sounds like much better value to me.

                        By the way, 32%, even if you had to pay £100 for £100 using your terminology, makes it a 16% rise in the pocket, which is well above inflationary.

                        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                          Re: Maths

                          To pay someone, who is on a higher tax rate, £100 you have to pay £191 - £100 goes to them and £91 to tax man. That equates to 52% net pay and it does not include Employer's NI that also has to be paid and Apprenticeship Levy.

                          Yes, to someone on minimum wage, the cost for their £100 is much lower.

                          1. TRT Silver badge

                            Re: Maths

                            Fair enough, though the figures did include employee contribution to NI, if not employer... ditto pension funds - we weren't talking about on-costs. But that still doesn't explain the relevance of your post to which several people have replied...

                            "Inflation is based on net prices, but wage increases are calculated before tax.

                            Someone on basic tax rate pay less for their £1 than someone on higher rate, so inflation affects them more as their money is more expensive for them.

                            Someone on £30k pays about £25 for their £100 and someone on £100k pays £52 for their £100."

                            and

                            "Yes, you forgot about progressive tax that is punishing high earners. Boss is likely paying 50% or more of effective tax, so his pay rise should be compensated for that.

                            Inflation % rate does not take into account progressive tax, so high earners are more affected by inflation actually."

                            What does a percentage inflation rate not "take into account" about progressive taxation that affects high earners more?

                            As I explained, the headline inflation rate used by the BoE and government and is thus jumped on by the unions and individuals is the CPIH - the Consumer Prices Index including an element of housing costs for owner-occupiers (mortgage interest payments). It's as close a blend of economic fiducials can come to reflecting the true cost of living as can be generated from a top-down calculation. It's weighted towards the median income household and fails to reflect accurately households at both extremes of income. The ONS aren't terribly happy about it, but the mechanism needs to be accepted as robust both domestically and internationally.

                            If you already buy the cheapest food stuffs and can't afford insulation and can't afford a more fuel efficient car or have to pay regulated commuter rail fares which are going to rise by 13% on January 1st, then you have no room in your lifestyle to buffer your household from the effects of inflation. What's your cheaper alternative to Aldi Own Brand Spaghetti? Buying less of it? Truly the effect of inflation in raw production prices is very literally belt tightening.

                            If you are a high income household, then you could, and should, be mortgage free already, or possibly your house is held by an offshore company of which you are sole director and so you "rent" off yourself for £100 a month or some other tax dodge. You are unaffected by BoE rate rises - in fact if you have investments, you're laughing! You might have to change your Range Rover Evoque or Bentley (I'm guessing the rich have no taste or sense!) for a Tesla or a BMW EV. You might have to buy a new status signalling wrist watch every two years from now on. You might have to get one week's food delivery out of every four from Waitrose instead of Fortum and Mason. Heck, even if you shop at Waitrose regularly you might switch to their own brands - you have room to do that. So I don't accept your argument that inflation affects high income households more than median or low, and so I don't accept the fact that a percentage pay award must be higher than the headline inflation figure for high earners, whereas for the median and low earners JUST inflation or below inflation is adequate for the same effect. It's clearly not! And it's even more clear that using your own distorted logic, when CPIH is at 11-13%, that 32% for the CEO is in any way, shape or form equivalent to 9% for a minimus wage employee in terms of preserving a healthy economic balance.

                            1. Roland6 Silver badge

                              Re: Maths

                              > but wage increases are calculated before tax.

                              The trouble I have with this is I’ve never worked anywhere that used net pay; they all used total cost ie. Salary plus on costs, to determine the affordable pay increase.

                      2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                        Re: Maths

                        Monthly net is £87k and monthly gross is £166k.

                        87 * 1.91 = 166.

                        Therefore each £100 costs you £91.

                        Lets just take a step back here. I aint no good at them fancy perrcentarges and things, but the one number is twice the size of the other, ergo you paid 50% tax

                        So each £100 costs you £50 ? (to have it)

                        Personally I'd have phrased that as "This £50 cost me a £100" (cos if your selling £100 notes for £91 I'll take em all!)

                        .

                        Hey the Paris icon's missing! I needed that for all the dumb questions I ask!

            2. gandalfcn Silver badge

              Re: Maths

              Sadly, some people fall for that non-argument, that is why the Tories keep getting elected and BoJo is still their Messiah.

              Maggie sold off everything she could to her mates and effectively destroyed the country.

              1979: UK was sitting on a revenue bonanza from North Sea Oil, had a National Debt of just £80bn and owned all it's utilities, transport, infrastructure & millions of social homes.

              2020: UK has £2.2Tn national debt & virtually no assets.

              Capitalism and Thatcherism have destroyed the country and our kids' future˙

              1. SundogUK Silver badge

                Re: Maths

                Says someone who obviously wasn't around in the seventies. If you think 'capitalism' is bad, you should see the damage socialism can do.

                1. TRT Silver badge

                  Re: Maths

                  The 1970s wasn't socialism.

                  1. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Maths

                    UK government in the 60s and 70s was a consensus government that still bore the scars of the 1930s which the post-war economic model sought to prevent returning. It may have been labelled as socialist, but it only bore a passing resemblance to true socialist principles.

                    I still remember Geoffrey Howe's speech about how inner-city crime was a result of the tower blocks which he called "monuments to socialist planning". The tower blocks were the state's humanitarian response to moving people en masse from the unfit for human habitation slums that poverty drove them to.

                    Is it time for someone to say the tower blocks now springing up all over the nation are "monuments to capitalist planning" ?

                    We can already see the swelling echoes of the late 70s - in those days it was immigrants taking jobs that was the rallying cry of the NF, and today it's immigrants taking houses. Thatcher made promises and stole those "far-right" votes back in 1979. Cameron tried to pull off the same trick in 2015, with the 2016 Brexit referendum.

                    I fear we are heading for a repeat of 1979, but where's the sainted leader this time?

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKOUuw8R1aw

                    1. TRT Silver badge

                      Re: Maths

                      By the way, the "unholy" economic model seems to involve:

                      Full employment (>80%)

                      Low inflation (~2.5%)

                      Full democracy (voting rights not restricted by class, sex, education etc)

                      The "workers" benefit from the fruits of their labour (employment unions negotiate salary and bonus to achieve an equitable share of divided) which implies state ownership of domestic industry and services for the benefit of all

                      No poverty

                      But it seems that you can't have them all at the same time. When we had reducing poverty, high employment, democracy and nationalised industry in the 70s, but we had high inflation which resulted in heavy demands from the unions which represented an inequitable division of limited dividends. Thatcher in the 80s reduced inflation, increased inequity in dividend, stationary levels of poverty and created mass unemployment (with the resulting burden on the state). National debt was proportionately low in the 70s compared to today's eye watering figures which are teetering on the brink of incomprehensibility.

                      1. SundogUK Silver badge

                        Re: Maths

                        The 'mass unemployment' was a result of the economic re-structuring required because of years of Labour kpw-towing to the unions.

                        1. TRT Silver badge

                          Re: Maths

                          Referring to peoples lives (mass unemployment) as an "economic restructuring'...

                          Hm.

                          Even so, the burden of mass unemployment was still felt by the state.

                          You'll note that in the economic model outlined tax burden wasn't mentioned, nor was base lending rate.

                      2. Roland6 Silver badge

                        Re: Maths

                        >full employment

                        If you believe the conservatives, neo liberals et al. This is very bad thing…

                        Personally, I see it as a good thing and having worked IT where the norm is skills shortage, I would prefer to a shortfall in labour as then employers have to think and get creative about get stuff done; as we’ve seen these last 50+ years, this has driven the IT industry to its current state of dominance, permeating all aspects of the economy.

                    2. SundogUK Silver badge

                      Re: Maths

                      "Is it time for someone to say the tower blocks now springing up all over the nation are "monuments to capitalist planning" ?"

                      It's time to start calling them "monuments to green stupidity, which means we can't house people any other way than in high density disease traps."

                  2. gandalfcn Silver badge

                    Re: Maths

                    Never, ever forget, the devoted right wingers believe socialism is anything to the left of Mussolini and Hitler.

                    1. TRT Silver badge

                      Re: Maths

                      Agreed!

                      At what point is someone going to mention "Woke" and "Defund the BBC!"?

                      It's just that I've got the Daily Mail "word bingo" card out.

                    2. SundogUK Silver badge

                      Re: Maths

                      And you think any one to the right of Mao is a fascist.

                      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

                        Re: Maths

                        No dear, not at all.

                  3. SundogUK Silver badge

                    Re: Maths

                    But they were trying very hard to make it so.

                2. gandalfcn Silver badge

                  Re: Maths

                  Don't be daft. Been around since before that, and not only in the UK. Socialism lifted the PRC from a poverty stricken country to the 2nd strongest world economy.

                  Socialist policies have saved all so called capitalist economies.

                  Any thinking person is aware that neither capitalism nor socialism have worked in isolation but a combination of the two works. Some of the most successful economies are the Scandinavian ones. The UK's best assets were socialist driven but Thatcher sold them off and the NHS is now under threat from the loonies in the Tory Party.

                  1. gandalfcn Silver badge

                    Re: Maths

                    Dear downvoter, would you care to tell us all of a successful capitalist economy, a purely capitalist one?

                    1. TRT Silver badge

                      Re: Maths

                      How do you measure success? That's the big question! Any statistics can be apparently massaged to fit a particular political agenda. Allegedly. I say that's a disservice to statisticians, but others may be more paranoid.

                    2. gandalfcn Silver badge

                      Re: Maths

                      As expected, you can't.

                  2. SundogUK Silver badge

                    Re: Maths

                    The Scandinavian countries are the most capitalist in the world, they just have cultures which support high taxation. Unfortunately for them, mass immigration is killing that culture.

              2. Lis

                Re: Maths

                Let's not forget the 100's of billions Brown borrowed to buy out the banks bad debts. Oh and nationalise the "shat west". How much did he pay for those shares? And what are they worth now?

                All governments are rubbish when it comes to spending taxpayers money

                1. gandalfcn Silver badge

                  Re: Maths

                  And why was the bail out needed? Something to do with capitalism failing wasn't it? Globally/

                  1. SundogUK Silver badge

                    Re: Maths

                    Those failures were a direct result of socialist governments intervening in property markets. If they had left well alone, we would have been fine.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Maths

                      nope, it was the reduction of regulation allowing unregulated borrowing that was unsustainable.

                      And the idea that "homes" are investments, to drive up property prices for the conservative party bribers (not donators, they are doing it for favours to make extra profit!)

                      caused by conservative and neo-liberal policies.

                      Stop trying to re-write fucking history.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Maths

                      Can I get whatever drugs you're on?

                      The banking collapse in the 2000s was caused by the bank fuckery with CDOs and the like. No governments intervened in that at all. If they had, proper regulation would have ensured those banks didn't over-extend themselves or underpin their reserves with non-existent funny money. Those banks were in private hands BTW. Governments didn't own the property that fuelled that speculation either.

                      The countries that were most affected by that crash were USA, UK, Ireland and Ireland. None of them had anything close to a socialist government. Or are you one of those Trumpist nutjobs who imagine George W Bush, Fuckwit Brown and Tony Bliar ran closet commie administrations?

                      1. TRT Silver badge

                        Re: Maths

                        LIBOR manipulation for example.

              3. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            There's a question of whether the CPIH (which is the actual measure reported by BoE, not the out-of-date RPI) is accurate across the entire income demographic. The current measure is demographically weighted, but an analysis done in 2016 has shown that a plutocratic weighting is more accurate and reflects better the effect of inflation on lower income households.

          3. tiggity Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            @elsergiovoladorSilver badge

            Actually high earners unlikely to be on "super tax" as highest UK tax rate maxes out at 45%

            And theres the fun of national insurance, which hammers the middle ground earners.

            13.25% between approx 1k and 4k earnings a month

            3.25% above the just over 4k a month earnings zone.

            So the overall NI % hit is far less for really big earners and if regarding NI as part of tax burden (which it effectively is) then quite possible for big earner to have lower overall combined NI & tax % outgoing than someone who just scrapes into the 40% bracket (bracket before 45% tax)

            Also ignoring the fact they will be quite possibly be using dubious tax dodging accountancy loopholes that are unavailable to us PAYE plebs

          4. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            If you believe that, more fool you.

          5. J. R. Hartley

            Re: Maths

            Bollocks

        3. JimC

          Re: Maths

          Especially as its not just 20% more than the real workers this year, its been 20% more than the real workers for the last 20 years...

        4. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: Maths

          The overall effect of increasing a single persons salary by 32% is insignificant when compared to increasing 58,000 peoples salary by 10%

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Maths

            "The overall effect of increasing a single persons salary by 32% is insignificant when compared to increasing 58,000 peoples salary by 10%"

            FFS sake not this stupid fucking bollocks again.

            That is fucking irrelevant, it's just fucking hypocritical and immoral to award yourself 32% when you deny 10% to others.

        5. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

          Re: Maths

          I have a joke about trickle down economics.... but 99% of you won't get it

      3. BOFH in Training Bronze badge

        Re: Maths

        I don't know what the answer is as most inflationary issues currently are external, but a 20% increase won't happen.

        --

        You sure about that? The CEO got over 30% and CFO over 20%. Am pretty sure all the senior management got a nice raise.

        If the CEO / CFO / other senior manglement were not to greedy and stuck to a similar raise of 8% or so, nobody else will be saying anything.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Maths

        our current inflation is caused by Energy prices, which is why todays rate increase shows that the bods are teh Bank of England really ARE as stupid as they look.

        90% of the country has no savings or their money is tied up in mortgages and loans. 40% of the. country earns so little they don't actually pay any income tax. These people don't HAVE money to fritter away on goods.

        the interest rate hike will actually Encourage the 10% with savings and no mortgages to spend MORE because they don't really get affected by the energy increase or rate hikes as many of them have paid their mortgages off.

        normal economic theory says that inflation goes up as the demand for a set number of goods go up. this inflation cycle is being led by profiteering at energy companies for "goods' that people have no choice but to buy, namely heat and electricity. Especially when Winter hits.

        The Government needs to get it's head out of it's collective arses...

        Work out the average profit for the energy firms over the last 10 years.

        Emergency tax them at a 50% rate above that PLUS anything they've spent on share buybacks while the rest of us have been struggling to pay our bills.

        Take that money and force it down to decrease the cost of gas and electricity bills and watch inflation drop.

        Otherwise fuck it...if Sainsbury's CEO can get a 300% pay rise THIS year, I'm not holding back on my pay requests and will happily leave and get a job somewhere else if I don't get it.

        With remote working I can now apply for jobs all over Europe too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maths

          BP post profit of £9billion in second quarter - "it's terrible, tax then into oblivion."

          BP post loss of £20 billion in first quarter...silence.

          Governments around the world effectively shut the world down for 2 years because of COVID, creating a massive reduction in the demand for oil and gas.

          That close down has ended, and so demand has rebounded rapidly, creating a high demand.

          Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, 'the west' responded with sanctions, so Putin cut off the gas. that reduced supply.

          There's a fair bit more to it than that, but fundamentally, demand has increased, supply has fallen, and so prices have gone up.

          Solve this problem by reducing demand, or increasing supply.

          By fracking, for example.

          But we can't do that, because the environmentalists insist we mustn't.

          1. Snowy Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Maths

            Putin had not cut off the gas.

            The west is trying to stop buying it.

            https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/who-is-still-buying-russian-crude-oil-2022-03-21/

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Maths

              Well, firstly, the 'problems' with Nord stream 1 rather indicate that Putin has to some degree cut of the gas.

              Secondly, it's irrelevant whether Putin cut the gas off or Western governments decided not to buy it; politics has caused a shortage, not the oil and gas companies.

            2. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: Maths

              Putin has cut gas flows to 20% of normal levels.

              1. TRT Silver badge

                Re: Maths

                Ah, but he's making up for it in bullshit.

            3. BOFH in Training Bronze badge

              Re: Maths

              He has cut / reduced the amount of oil flowing to countries which are still wanting to buy it.

              https://www.bbc.com/news/business-62318376

              There are a bunch of countries in Western EU which wants/able to buy but are not being supplied.

              So yeah, he is cutting off supply.

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            >Solve this problem by reducing demand, or increasing supply.

            By fracking, for example.

            You were doing well until you mentioned fracking as a solution. Unfortunately, it isn't. The only way to increase supply, in the timescales that matter ie. now and for the coming year, is for existing producers to increase supply. However, this won't really help if they sell it openly on the world market, given the increase in demand from other nations, they will need to act out of the goodness of their hearts and do a special deal for the UK and Europe at a special below market price...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Maths

              Agreed that fracking is not an immediate solution to the current problem.

              However, had we acted sensibly and started fracking several years ago, the UK would not be importing (as much) gas, and would be less vulnerable to global gas prices.

              It is possible (and I believe quite common) for conditions of licensing to require a certain percentage of gas produced from a production field to be reserved for the 'home market', which has the effect of depressing the price the product can be sold for in the home market.

              Further, that fracking is not an immediate solution to the current problem is no reason not to do it; we on this forum frequently castigate politicians and CEOs for their lack of foresight and forward planning,

              I doubt many people were predicting the current situation a year ago (if they had, we might now have operational onshore gas wells); who knows what might occur in 1 or 2 or 5 years time.

              Fracking provides the UK in particular (and 'the liberal democracies' more generally) a means of safe reliable energy security, less subject to the whims of dictators and fluctuations on the global energy market.

              If we find something better ('greener') than gas, by all means let's use it, but all the time we continue to rely on gas, let's ensure our gas supply is reliable.

          3. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            Why are you so dishonest?

            "Reported loss primarily due to decision to exit Rosneft shareholding

            Net debt reduced to $27.5bn; further share buyback announced?

            "Governments around the world effectively shut the world down for 2 years because of COVID, creating a massive reduction in the demand for oil and gas." So. Your point?

            "demand has rebounded rapidly" No.

            "so Putin cut off the gas. that reduced supply." Try English. Did he cut off or reduce?

            The west reduced its demand for Putin's gas and Putin threatened to reduce the remaining supply. If Germany had not abandoned nuclear the problem would be minimal.

            "There's a fair bit more to it than that," Yes, all of which destroy your position.

            "Solve this problem by reducing demand, or increasing supply." Of non FF energy.

            "By fracking." LOL. Try fracking your brain

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Maths

              "so Putin cut off the gas. that reduced supply." Try English. Did he cut off or reduce?

              Putin cut off the gas (from Russia).

              That reduced (Global) supply.

              I thought that was clear enough that anybody capable of reading the Register would understand.

              Apparently not.

              Though perhaps you were just too distracted trying to think up your last 'witty' line.

          4. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            BP Q1 2022: Bumper first-quarter net profit, massive loss on Russia

          5. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            https://www.thenationalnews.com › business › energy › 2022 › 05 › 03 › bp-loses-20bn-on-russia...

            BP loses $20bn on Russia exit but underlying profits rise

        2. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Maths

          Good post but "our current inflation is caused by Energy prices,"needs clarification. Fossil fuel energy prices, not nuclear, wind, or solar. If we had more of those, which realistically we should have, the problem would be less.

          Brexit is another self inflicted cause.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            The lack of nuclear, can't be attributed to Brexit. It can be attributed wholly to Westminster (aka that place that took back control) kicking the ball down the road for many decades...

            Just as the government have been largely paying lip service to energy efficiency (the building standards due to come into force in 2025 were readily achievable in circa 2005, just the construction industry giants don't like change that would require them to change established working practices and invest...

            The UK for many years didn't sign long-term oil and gas supply contracts, preferring to surf the market and do short-term deals. This worked well in a market with an oversupply, but as we see, not in a market with demand (from other customers) higher than supply.

            However, our electricity price inflation is not being helped by the pricing formula for electricity being linked to the price of gas... I've not seen anything where the regulator is intending to break the linkage and to get more creative about getting the price of electricity to take greater account of non-fossil fuel generation costs.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Maths

              Whilst improved building standards may have been available for many decades, the control and certification of such standards was effectively abandoned with lethal consequence. I agree it was effectively lip service, but no doubt arising from effective lobbying.

      5. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Maths

        "Then you risk run away inflation."Mainly the result of inflated FF prices and gargantuan profits by FF industries amongst others, exacerbated by Adolf Putin.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Maths

          "Why are prices rising so fast?

          Many things are contributing to the high rate of inflation, including:

          Energy bills, which have risen rapidly because of high oil and gas prices. They're expected to increase sharply again from October

          Petrol and diesel prices, partly because the war in Ukraine has driven up the cost of crude oil. Prices recently fell from record levels but are expected to remain high

          Food prices, as the war in Ukraine squeezes grain production and costs"

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            This completed contradicts your previous point...

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            > Many things are contributing to the high rate of inflation

            Traditional inflation is too much money trying to buy too few products, ie. People have spare cash; what we are seeing is too little money trying to buy essentials in increasingly short supply.

            Hence why Increasing interest rates is a dumb thing to do.

        2. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: Maths

          These are not "gargantuan" profits. BP, for example runs at about 10% margin. Their fixed and operating costs are enormous.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Maths

            Depends if you look at absolute numbers or percentages. You're saying the profits (which is the margin you are talking about) aren't excessive when compared to the even-more-gargantuan costs. But 10% of a very large number is still a very large number. Not saying that's bad or good, just saying.

      6. katrinab Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: Maths

        That was the last step, not the next step. My bill from Plusnet, which is owned by BT, increased from £23.95 per month to £26.17, a 9.3% increase. If the money is not going on higher wages, then where is it going?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Maths

          Increased costs.

        2. TimMaher Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Where is it going?

          Into the C-suite.

  3. Paul 195
    Mushroom

    Greed

    It's hard for most normal people to imagine the level of self-entitlement, greed, and general psychopathy that enables already very well remunerated management to give themselves pay rises of 25% and upwards while saying to the workforce, "Get back to work and accept a pittance".

    BT is dependent on a large skilled, unionized workforce. I really hope their management and board get a severe bloody nose in this fight.

    1. simpfeld

      Re: Greed

      It's also hard to understand the stupidity of a boss taking a massive pay rise and not thinking that might be a red rag to a bull. What was he thinking!

      And with staff having foodbanks in some offices.

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Greed

      The higher % of pay rise for high earners is an effect of progressive tax. You have to pay extra to cover the inflation than to someone on basic tax rate.

      1. Paul 195

        Re: Greed

        " You have to pay extra to cover the inflation than to someone on basic tax rate."

        If you accept the premise that someone who is already being paid about £2 million a year needs the cost of inflation covered. Anyone on that kind of wage already has all the bottom layers of Maslow's hierarchy more than adequately covered, and the extra cash isn't really going to help them with self-actualisation.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Greed

          Indeed even change to the base rate isn't going to have much of an effect on the purchasing power of someone who has paid cash for their home and has no other mortgages - the cost of a house being the single biggest thing financially in most people's lives.

          If you buy-to-let and paid cash, then your rental income is going to be determined by the prevailing market rental prices in the area of your property. As not every landlord is mortgage free, rents will go up to cover an increased mortgage; therefore the income of a property magnate who hasn't had to borrow to fund their property portfolio is in fact going to be enhanced by a base-rate increase! Perverse but true. I don't see them keeping their rent locked to, say, the £1000 a month of last year when the going rate in the area is now £1200 a month.

          1. katrinab Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: Greed

            To an extent, yes. If interest rates go up, rental yield needs to go up as well.

            However, there are two ways to do that:

            Rents can go up

            or, property values can go down.

            In reality it is going to be a bit of both.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Greed

              What they call a "natural correction to house prices" (property values) is actively fought against by the banks because the value of their secured loans portfolio is the collateral for credit in the investment market. And it also happens over a longer time scale and at a lower level than rent levels. But it is a bit of both. I was focussing on the major factor.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Greed

              "property values can go down"

              weird can't remember my mortgage becoming cheaper when propery prices went down.

              Can't find any mention of that in my mortgage contract?

              Where do I get these magic mortgages from?

              1. katrinab Silver badge

                Re: Greed

                No, if anything it will get more expensive when property prices go down.

                That means you make a loss, but the market doesn't care about that.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Greed

                Mortgage payments are based on the amount of money that was borrowed, not the current value of whatever was bought with that borrowed money.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Greed

      Totally agree it seems a sledgehammer is needed to get through to senior management (and not just BT's).

      However, I see the CWU by their assistance on a percentage increase, is only interested in maintaining differentials and not interested in levelling up (ie. actually helping the lowest paid workers).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Greed

      Since the vast majority of CEO's and board members are incredibly fucking stupid and their entire business acumen comes from MBA's, what do you expect.

      lets get a bunch of greedy lunatics that have ALL done the SAME Masters degree and "learnt" the same stuff adn shovel them in to firms across every industry and watch them try to use the SAME useless crap they've learnt and reshape each firm into a carbon copy of what Jack Welch did to GE & what the idiots at Boeing did to Boeing and enrich themselves while the company collapses

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Greed

        Quote

        "lets get a bunch of greedy lunatics that have ALL done the SAME Masters degree and "learnt" the same stuff adn shovel them in to firms across every industry and watch them try to use the SAME useless crap they've learnt and reshape each firm into a carbon copy of what Jack Welch did to GE & what the idiots at Boeing did to Boeing and enrich themselves while the company collapses"

        Yeah but so long as the company collapses AFTER they've cashed out... who gives a fuck?

        Thats the way they actually think . maximise share dividend , maximise share price, cash out asap.

        Oh dear my lousy decisions have put a well respected company down, caused 50 000 people to directly lose their jobs, and 100 000 jobs in the the supply chain to go....... but hey look at my fucking yacht! its like 200 feet long, and has its own dock at both my Bermuda house AND my california house. who gives a shit about plebs on the breadline... and if they cause trouble .. I own 10 congress critters and they'll block any wealth law

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Greed

          >Yeah but so long as the company collapses AFTER they've cashed out... who gives a fuck?

          We are seeing something like this with the Twitter vs Musk events.

          It explains why the Twitter board are using the courts to force Musk to complete the purchase.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Greed

          Oh dear my lousy decisions have put a well respected company down, caused 50 000 people to directly lose their jobs, and 100 000 jobs in the the supply chain to go....... but hey look at my fucking yacht! its like 200 feet long, and has its own dock at both my Bermuda house AND my california house. who gives a shit about plebs on the breadline... and if they cause trouble .. I own 10 congress critters and they'll block any wealth law

          You are Richard Branson/Larry Ellison/Fred Goodwin/Elon Musk and I claim my £5.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Greed

            Is the £5 claim going to be adjusted for inflation?

    5. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Greed

      They still idolise Al de Pf and believe Truss is an honest person.

  4. Lis

    Can we cut the crap

    This is the real reason for the strike...

    "For those not paying attention, BT paid a £1,500 flat one-off pay award to 58,000 staff in April without consulting the union"

    Without consulting the union.... Yep, I feel I am reliving the 70's.

    Funny thing, Unions don't consult with their members when they increase the price of the subscription. I was in a union for over 30 years and was never once asked. They just put it up by whatever they feel like.

    They are just another business, no doubt claiming all the business perks, tax dodges e.t.c. Wonder how much pay rise the top union men get?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Can we cut the crap

      The second reason is because it isn't a percentage.

      A flat payment is worth more to those on a low income than those on a higher income; can't have differentials eroded.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can we cut the crap

      "Unions don't consult with their members when they increase the price of the subscription. I was in a union for over 30 years and was never once asked. "

      Nope. Like every other membership organisation, decisons on membership fees/union dues/whatever normally get taken at the AGM. Members get notified about the AGM as well as how to take part and vote. It's not the union's fault if you couldn't be bothered to get off your arse for over 30 years and do that.

      1. Lis

        Re: Can we cut the crap

        @A/C

        Clueless bullshit.

        It is the fault of the union if they don't organise a postal ballot. Not everyone can get to a union A.G.M. Most of their members will be at work when they have the bloody things.

        FYI, I did indeed attend several A.G.M.s and NOT ONCE was the membership fee voted on.

        So don't fucking judge me until you get your facts right.. Not surprised you are A/C

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can we cut the crap

          IIUC unions are now compelled to have postal ballots. Not that it matters. If you're unable to attend the AGM, you can appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf. As my shop steward said he did for me. Not all AGMs involve a vote on the membership fee either. You must have been lucky/unlucky this didn't happen at the ones you say you attended. Too bad.

          Don't fucking judge me until you get your facts right too.

  5. Tubz

    Most people looking for money not too fritter away, but ensure the can eat, cloth and keep a warm roof over theirs heads and when fat cat retards in the boardroom offer a fraction of the % they are receiving based on salary, I see no fault in a union asking for more. In the case of BT, for many years they worked as a partnership, with the fats cats offering just enough to keep minions happy while still taking disgusting % rises and now the minions want a fair share, they don't like it !

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