Socialist Worker

BBC workers to strike against pension robbery - and Tories

Issue No. 2221

Workers at the BBC are set to strike against plans to make workers pay more for their pensions.

It’s a fight millions of others can identify with.

The strikes, on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, will bring together workers from all the main unions at the BBC—Bectu, Unite and NUJ.

And they plan to hit the Tories hard.

The first round of strikes is set to coincide with the Tory Party conference, and a second two-day strike is planned for 19 and 20 October, when the government will announce plans to slash public spending in the spending review.

One BBC worker told Socialist Worker, “The people I work with are boiling with anger. Workers voted by over 90 percent in favour of strike action.

“The atmosphere at work has changed since our vote for strike action.

“People realise that we’re not ‘all in it together’—not when our boss Mark Thompson is on over £800,000 a year. That’s why people are planning for the strike.”

BBC director-general Mark Thompson got a £163,000 pension top-up last year.

His deputy, Mark Byford, stands to receive a £400,000 pension under the arrangements.

Bosses taking huge pensions and wages while attacking workers’ pensions has increased the anger among workers.

And BBC bosses took a pension “contributions holiday” during the boom years—they were allowed to stop paying in the company’s share of workers’ pensions, and now claim there is a deficit and that the pensions are unaffordable.

Workers at the BBC are already under huge pressure after thousands being made redundant, leaving 20,000 staff doing the work of 27,000.

For many the attack on their pensions was the last straw.

The BBC workers’ strike over pensions is something every worker should get behind.

What BBC bosses want to do

  • Limit employers’ contribution to workers pensions to just one percent of earnings

  • Increase workers’ contributions to their pensions from 4 to 7 percent of their wages
  • End final salary pension scheme for new starters

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Article information

Tue 28 Sep 2010, 18:03 BST
Issue No. 2221
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