So what's the BT strike all about and what could be its legacy?

A strike of BT workers could soon be a reality as the Communication and Workers Union (CWU) sends out ballot papers to members and encourages them to vote yes to strike.

This could lead to the first strike of its kind for over 20 years. If strikes are voted for and they drag on there could be possible service disruption because of a shortage of engineers. This could be a window of opportunity for BT’s competitors.

As the BT strike ballot gets going and people are attempting to put the worker demands in context, here are some facts:

– BT offered workers a 2% pay rise and the unions want 5%

– BT’s CEO Ian Livingston, took home total earnings of £2,105m this year compared to £1.179m last year. An 80% increase.

– BT Profit reported a profit of £1.007bn in 2010 compared to a loss in 2009.

– Former BT Global services head Francois Barrault, who left BT in November 2008, was paid just under £1.6m in 2009 and a further £10,000 in 2010.

– BT faces more competition than ever and a strike will give its competitors an opportunity. BT even said “Industrial action is unnecessary and would only benefit our competitors.” This could lead to more job cuts in the long run.

– Competitors such as Cloud Net are already regarding this as an opportunity for them.

Click here to listen to listen to CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr discuss why BT’s pay offer was not enough.