Would BT strike be commercial suicide?

While writing an article about how a strike of BT engineers could affect UK SMEs, it was suggested to me that a strike, at this time could, be commercial suicide.

Neil Stephenson, CEO at ISP Onyx, says BT is in a very competitive market and the strike might bring enough publicity for SME’s to consider alternatives.

If there are major faults while BT workers are on strike there could be major problems for SME’s which are almost entirely dependent at some point on BT’s infrastructure.

So if for example an entire exhange goes down there could be tens of thousands of people and businessess without the internet. Good reason to look for an alternative?

According to Stephenson his customer, which use BT’s network at some point, have a major faulkt about every 18 months on average.

So what should BT do? The company is still hoping for an agreement. And it does appear to be a bit worried because it is asking managers to outline their skills because they might have to cover for engineers.

We have had quite a few strikes at IT suppliers lately. Many have been avoided because management have realised how damaging a strike can be for customer confidence.

People like  Fujitsu and Siemens are in very competitive markets and have worked hard to avoid strikes. BT is now in a competitive market and must avoid giving its competitors an inch because they might take a yard.