BT shares hit all-time low

The Financial Times reports that BT has announced a pay freeze for its 85,000 UK staff, including senior management as its shares fell to their lowest ever price of 71.4 pence (€0.80)

The UK's incumbent is blaming the economic downturn and its disastrous Global Service's high running costs, which it is struggling to contain. It has issued two profits warnings since October.

Compared with Europe's other Tier 1 carriers, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom, BT is faring badly in the economic downturn,

Alex Wilson, BT's head of human relations, told staff of the pay freeze for 2009-10 in an e-mail, saying it was "the right thing to do". He added that any bonus payments to staff "will be substantially lower than in previous years", or non-existent.

As BT is expecting its earnings to fall in 2008-09, bonuses should also decline. BT is expecting its 20,000 overseas staff to be affected by the pay freeze, as well as its 85,000 employees in the UK.