BT and Openreach employees are reportedly being forced to use food banks and get second jobs to survive the cost-of-living crisis.

Members of the Communication Workers Union, including call centre workers and engineers, walked out today following action on Friday.

Staff in Glasgow said they are “fed-up” watching their colleagues struggle.

It comes as the workers rejected an imposed £1500 per year pay increase for all employees after the firm made a £1.3bn profit.

HeraldScotland: Workers are protesting in GlasgowWorkers are protesting in Glasgow Workers are protesting in Glasgow

Workers branded the offer a “kick in the teeth” following their work during the pandemic.

Now they are demanding a higher wage rise to help them face the worst economic crisis since the 1970s.

Staff claim they have set up food banks for other employees who can’t afford to feed themselves as a result.

It comes as household bills skyrocketed following the increase of the energy pay cap earlier this year.

One employee, Shannon Connor, was at the picket lines collecting food bank donations to help the local community.

HeraldScotland: Craig Anderson spoke out for employeesCraig Anderson spoke out for employees

Craig Anderson spoke out for employees

The 27-year-old told the Glasgow Times: “In our centres there are food banks being set up by employees for employees because they are all in a position where they are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

“The increase we have been offered is not enough to cover what we are needing."

Ms Connor said a number of colleagues "finish their full shifts [then go] and work a second job at night".

She added: "We are collecting today on behalf of our local food banks and have already had a brilliant amount coming in.

“If we can help the local community while fighting for fair increase for ourselves we will.

“We need to make an effort and get involved to advocate for ourselves.”

HeraldScotland: Staff are demanding better wage increasesStaff are demanding better wage increases

The experience of many BT Group workers has led company CEO Philip Jansen to be nicknamed ‘Foodbank Phil’ in many workplaces.

The strike is the second day of industrial action as inflation levels approach 12%, and BT making £1.3bn in profit – with Jansen reportedly pocketing a wage increase to £3.5m.

Workers found this unacceptable, and voted in overwhelming and unprecedented numbers to strike.

CWU regional secretary of Scotland, Craig Anderson, told the Glasgow Times: “I was speaking to a colleague who said every time we went out to someone's house [during the pandemic] there was the possibility they could take something back to their family.

“I would understand if the business didn’t make money but it has made a lot of money, so it really is a kick in the teeth.

"The company is being greedy and staff are fed-up."

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “Since BT Group workers have been forced to take historic strike action in defence of their standard of living, it’s obvious that ‘Foodbank Phil’ has no interest in their welfare.

“But his employees - our members - care about the contributions they make to the society they serve and the country they live in.

“Just like in the pandemic, working class people will step up to the plate when employers and politicians fail, and are ready to put need before greed.

“We urge all sympathetic members of the public to attend picket lines in their area and chip in to help out others.”

A BT Group spokesperson said: “At the start of this year, we were in exhaustive discussions with the CWU that lasted for two months, trying hard to reach an agreement on pay.

“When it became clear that we were not going to reach an accord, we took the decision to go ahead with awarding our team members and frontline colleagues the highest pay award in more than 20 years, effective April 1.

“We have confirmed to the CWU that we won’t be reopening 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.

“While we respect the choice of our colleagues who are CWU members to strike, we will work to minimise any disruption and keep our customers and the country connected.

“We have tried and tested processes for large-scale colleague absences to minimise any disruption for our customers and these were proved during the pandemic.”