500 TV workers walk out after “derisory” pay offer

by - 17th October 2011, 7.30 BST

More than 500 TV Licensing workers have walked out today in a dispute over pay as management refuses to improve a below-inflation pay offer.

Staff taking part in the action in Bristol and Darwen, Lancashire which will bring TV Licensing call centres to a standstill throughout the day. Staff are seeking an improved pay offer after no pay increase for nearly two years.

CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said: “Our members at Capita TV Licensing are facing a pay cut in real terms from a company which makes millions in profit every year. We’re asking for a simple improvement in their pay offer which at 2.6 per cent is almost half the rate of inflation.

“The last thing our members want is strikes, but the employer has left people with no choice. They are facing increased food, energy and transport bills and work for a company which can afford to reward its staff with fair wages.

“Even at this late stage, I call on Capita to drop its intransigence, come back to negotiations and resolve this dispute.

“But make no mistake, our members are determined to win a fair deal and if we strike – we strike solid and we strike to win.”

Staff have become increasingly frustrated after the company refused to raise pay last year. The current offer of £550 and £600 for 2010 and 2011 respectively – worth 2.6 to 2.7 per cent for higher grades – falls far short of retail price index levels, which have averaged 5 per cent since April 2010.

Picket lines:

Bristol: 7:30 – 10:30am 100 Temple Street, Bristol, BS98 1TL

Darwen: 7:30 – 10:30am India Mill, Bolton Road, Darwen, BB3 1YX