BBC hit by further waves of action over redundancies and cuts

By staff writers
2 Aug 2011

Thousands of journalists across the BBC yesterday took part in a second 24-hour strike against compulsory redundancies at the Corporation.

There was severe disruption to BBC schedules, with the loss of radio flagships PM and The World at One, and a curtailed Today programme.

Across the BBC networks, programmes were affected, and the strikers had considerable encouragement from the public, says the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

There was backing, too, from other trades unions, including strong encouragement from other broadcasters in the north east of England.

NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet commented: “There has been a really solid turnout on picket lines across the BBC, with a particular impact on regional news programmes.”

The strike – the second in three weeks – was called by journalists at the BBC over management plans to sack hundreds of people in a compulsory redundancy programme.

Under the disputed plan, 387 posts would be lost across the BBC World Service and BBC Monitoring, following cuts in government funding.

Michelle Stanistreet added: “The NUJ is proud that our members everywhere in the BBC have recognised this threat to their colleagues, and the danger it poses to the quality journalism for which the BBC is rightly respected.

“BBC management seems to live in a fantasy world where it believes it can ignore the rights of staff and pretend that a serious industrial dispute simply isn’t happening. The latest ludicrous ploy is to claim that the strike isn’t having any effect. Clearly BBC management doesn’t watch the corporation’s output very much."

Meanwhile, journalists at the BBC’s Arabic Service are continuing industrial action against what they say are unfair working conditions. They decided to celebrate the success of their action and the First day of Ramadan by gathering together to have Ramadan Iftar in front of Broadcasting House in London.

The Arabic Service strike action continues until midnight on Thursday 4 August 2011.

[Ekk/3]

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