Hundreds of jobs to go in Bristol and elsewhere as company sacrifices staff to secure deal


CWU strikers on a Capita picket line late last year

Hundreds of jobs are to be lost across the UK as outsource company Capita closes its TV Licensing operations in Bristol in an act the CWU has branded “callous”.

Almost 400 staff in Bristol are affected by the plans which will see approximately 200 posts transferred to the company’s site in Darwen, Lancashire, with up to 80 specialist jobs retained at a separate site in Bristol. Five jobs will be lost from the site in Glasgow and over 40 management jobs from field operations will also be lost. Some work will go to Mumbai in India. Compulsory redundancies are expected in Bristol, where the majority of jobs are based, as well as Glasgow.

The decision follows Capita’s successful retention of the BBC TV Licence contract which was won offering reduced costs. Staff are being briefed by management and jobs are expected to be lost by September 2012.

CWU national officer Andy Furey said: “This is devastating news for workers in Bristol, Glasgow and elsewhere and a terrible way to start 2012. It’s a callous act by Capita management who have put commercial interests ahead of jobs and people.

“It appears that Capita has sacrificed the livelihoods of people in Bristol, Glasgow and elsewhere as cost savings to win the BBC TV Licence contract, rather than finding legitimate savings elsewhere. Hot on the heels of the move to Salford, the BBC licence fee freeze agreed by Mark Thompson is now responsible for job losses outside of the Corporation. This is the reality of that decision – unemployment. It’s irresponsible and unfair.

“Capita management seem to be punishing staff in Bristol and Glasgow who have fought hard for a decent pay rise in recent months. By cutting these jobs they lose experienced and dedicated staff which can’t be good for business continuity.

“We will be working closely with our members over the coming weeks to see how jobs can be protected and what options are open to them. We’re completely shocked by Capita’s callous attitude towards long-standing employees and see this as a direct attack on union rights. We will work hard to ensure union representation is retained in this giant company.”

Unite has also condemned the job losses, with assistant national secretary Brian Scott saying: “This is especially bad news for staff because many thought they had secured their jobs when the BBC renewed Capita’s contract. Unite will be meeting the members affected as soon as possible and meeting with Capita to press for it to do everything possible to protect employment through re-deployment, and re-training. The members were originally transferred out of Royal Mail and Unite expects Capita to honour the terms of transfer as a minimum.”

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