Socialist Worker

TV licensing workers walk out

by Linda Nunns
Issue No. 2279

Hundreds of TV licensing workers struck for a third time on Friday, in a dispute between the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Capita.

Workers held picket lines in Bristol, Darwen and Glasgow.

The dispute is about pay, working conditions and a plan by the management to rip up agreements. They want to implement lower wages even though the workers have had no pay rise for two years.

One worker told Socialist Worker, “Capita can easily afford it. They have contracts with TV licensing, the congestion charge, insurance and many others. They are making £1 million per day in profits and directors have received huge pay increases.”

The new contract with the BBC—“a jewel in the crown for the company”—is due for renewal in 2012.

On Friday 70 people came to picket lines, where they were addressed by CWU officers and a local MP.

“This is not going to be easy,” said CWU national officer Andy Furey. “We are in for the long haul against Capita’s plan. They want to break the union, this is open season to attack workers.”

Meanwhile the Occupy Bristol movement has set up a second camp outside Capita offices. A CWU rep addressed their general assembly last week at the main College Green camp, and the CWU have donated tents and resources.

Mark from Occupy Bristol told strikers, “We need to stand together with workers.”

One worker said, “We need respect—we have had enough. Our workplace is a microcosm of the 99 percent. We are going to get sacked anyway, so we may as well fight back.”

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Tue 22 Nov 2011, 18:25 GMT
Issue No. 2279
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