Stirling Observer

Capita workers go out on strike

More than 250 staff in week-long action

- Alastair McNeill

About 250 workers at the Stirling offices of outsourcin­g company Capita were on strike this week as part of a national dispute over pensions.

A picket outside the company’s Craigforth premises began on Saturday October 28 and is set to end this Saturday.

Capita — which provides business process outsourcin­g and profession­al services to the private and public sector — is changing from a Defined Benefit (final salary) pension to Defined Contributi­on arrangemen­ts.

Unite regional organiser Mark Lyon, who took part in this week’s Stirling picket, said members are unhappy about their pensions being downgraded.

He commented: “We’d like companies to come to us at the start of the process and explain the difficulti­es they are having rather than come to us with a fixed position which they are going to implement.

“It’s very disappoint­ing that our members have had to take this action. We have 250 Stirling members on strike today. That’s the workforce who are affected.

“They have been loyal workers, many of whom have worked with Capita for decades.

“They have been paying into a pension which is in effect a deferred payment.

“This move will have a significan­t impact on our members’ standard of living in retirement.”

Unite point out that Capita’s own figures show staff could lose as much as £8000 per year in deferred pay in retirement.

Capita made a pre-tax profit of £309.9m on a turnover of £2744m in 2010 and last year made a pretax profit of £74.8m on a turnover of £4898m.

A spokespers­on for the company said this week: “Capita is in the minority of companies still offering a Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme to a small number, some four per cent, of our 73,000 employees, and, like many of our peers, we recognised that this arrangemen­t is not sustainabl­e in the long-term.

“We have been working with employees and their representa­tives to agree the transfer to an enhanced Defined Contributi­on pension scheme, which continues to safeguard employees’ accrued benefits. Unite has acted alone, without consulting its members, in rejecting outright two separate enhanced offers that we put forward in good faith, therefore denying their members a voice in this matter.

“We have robust plans in place for the handful of clients whose services may be affected.”

 ??  ?? Strikers Pickets at Capita in Stirling
Strikers Pickets at Capita in Stirling

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