CWU members in Bristol and Darwen walk out again over pay as Capita refuses to talk


* MP Dawn Primarolo joins CWU pickets in Bristol this morning


* CWU pickets at Darwen

Hundreds of TV Licensing workers employed by Capita are on strike for a third day today in a dispute over pay.

Many workers earn just above the minimum wage while Capita half year profits have increased by 8 per cent to over £1 million a day. Last year board members awarded themselves £1.65m in bonuses and the Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer, Finance Officer and other senior executives received pay increases of 17 per cent.

CWU is asking for a pay rise in line with inflation – which runs at over 5 per cent – but Capita has refused to budge from an offer worth around 2.6 per cent.

CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said: “This is a dispute about fairness. We have a clear case of double standards – one rule for senior executives who award themselves massive pay rises and bonuses and another rule for staff who are expected to suffer with pitifully low rises in pay.

“The truth is that working people are being made to line the pockets of the rich and Capita is a prime example of that. These are honest, hardworking people many of whom have never taken strike action before but are struggling themselves and then seeing their bosses take huge pay rises.

“Three days of strike action is unprecedented and we strongly urge Capita to return to negotiations to resolve this dispute before Christmas.”

Alison Langford, Admin Assistant in Operations Support, Darwen, said: “I earn £234 a week before tax and national insurance. I’ve never taken strike action before this in my life, but I need a living wage. I was earning this much 30 years ago when I worked in production.” Alison has been working for Capita for one year.

Jane Pascal, a part time admin worker in Bristol who has worked for TV Licensing for 15 years said: “We work really hard for Capita. We give a quality service whilst ensuring all their targets are met so why do Capita insist on treating us with such contempt and offering an inadequate pay rise well below inflation whilst giving their Directors a huge pay rise well above inflation?

“They can afford to give us a decent pay rise seeing as they earn profits of £1,000,000 a day and I feel they are just brushing us under the carpet like we don’t matter.  Well we are not standing for it, we’ll fight for this as long as it takes.  It’s about time they started to appreciate their hard working staff.”

* Picket lines are tomorrow at

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

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

Staff in Bristol and Darwen, and a small number in Glasgow, work in call centre and support roles and will be on strike on Friday 18th November.

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