Local Union representatives are impressed with the “huge support” they've received as the BT strikes hit their second day.

Strike action happened across the region with pickets in locations across the region, including Machynlleth and Newtown, as well as in Shrewsbury, Oswestry, and Aberystwyth.

Staff were outside the Newtown telephone exchange on Friday, and returned on Monday (August 1) to picket the company over its proposed pay rise, which would be lower than the spiralling rate of inflation, which means it equates to a real-terms cut.

The strikes received the backing of more than 90 per cent of union members after BT refused to raise wages above the proposed £1,500 a year, while inflation is close to 10 per cent.

Tension further rose after the company announced profits of £1.3 billion and the CEO Phillip Janssen was revealed to have received a 32% pay rise.

According to Simon Edwards, Branch Secretary of Communication Workers Union (CWU) for Mid Wales the Marches and North Staffordshire, this has pushed more of the membership into taking action.

“Last week BT posted their first quarter profits and it was almost done in an insulting way by Philip Janssen towards the workers really.” said Mr Edwards

“We’re still making loads of money but were not going to give you any more and that really did upset a lot of people who were sort of 50/50 about whether they would strike or not- it was the final straw for them.”

Mr Edwards says that the strikes has been given lots of support by the public: “You get the impression that there’s a sea change going on at the moment as result of ours and the RMT strikes at the moment.

"Inflation is rampant at about 10 per cent and going up. Lots of people have only had very small rises over the last few years which has probably been protected by low inflation and low interest rates, so I think I think you do feel the sea change in the country coming on – we’ve got a lot of support from the public.”

A spokesperson for BT said: “We have confirmed to the CWU that we won’t be re-opening the 2022 pay review, having already made the best award we could.

"We’re balancing the complex and competing demands of our stakeholders and that includes making once-in-a-generation investments to upgrade the country’s broadband and mobile networks, vital for the UK economy and for BT Group’s future – including our people.”