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TV licensing strike 'strongly supported'

A strike by TV licensing workers in a row over pay was "strongly supported", union leaders said today.

Hundreds of members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) working on the BBC TV licensing contract at sites in Darwen and Bristol walked out for 24 hours in protest at a below-inflation wage offer, which the union said followed a two-year pay freeze.

Picket lines were mounted at both sites, with around 100 union members taking part, while other staff stayed away from work.

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% 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."