Workers at O2 have told bosses to stuff their "insulting" pay offer after voting overwhelmingly to reject the deal.
The mobile company and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have been locked in an increasingly bitter pay dispute that last week spilled over into O2's AGM.
Today the CWU announced that workers rejected a package that the union claims would freeze the basic pay for half the workforce for up to seven years and link the rest to what union officials describe as "unattainable performance targets".
With 96 per cent of those who voted rejecting the pay deal, union officials are today deciding what action to take next. And unless O2 improves its offer union officials say that a vote for strike action would be "inevitable" leading to a summer of "discontent and disruption".
"It is about time O2 started listening to its workforce instead of insulting them," said CWU negotiator Dave Johnson, adding: "The message from our members is clear - they are fed up, frustrated and furious that in O2's most successful year they are being denied a basic pay rise.
"It is clearly beyond their comprehension that the O2 board can afford to pay themselves huge salaries and bonuses whilst denying them a cost of living increase. This obscene state of affairs is totally unacceptable."
In a statement O2 told us: "We are disappointed that despite our best efforts we have been unable to reach agreement with the CWU regarding non-manager pay.
"We are committed to 'performance based pay', with our best performers receiving the best pay and rewards, and 'market based pay', where pay bands for each role are benchmarked to the wider market.
"The majority will see an increase in base salary, the remainder will receive an unconsolidated lump sum. Therefore, only around 4 per cent of all our non-managers would get neither a base salary increase or a lump sum as a result of poor performance. ®
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