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BBC journalists to strike over compulsory redundancy threat

16 March 2009

Thousands of journalists at the BBC are to hold two national one-day strikes against compulsory redundancies. NUJ members voted 77 percent in favour of strike action in a national ballot.

The most urgent threat of compulsory cuts is at the World Service's South Asian section where up to twenty members are at risk.

London-based journalists on the BBC Hindi, Nepali, and Urdu radio programmes and websites have already held a one-day strike over the cuts.

Union representatives from across the BBC met today and passed the following motion:

This meeting of BBC NUJ M/FoCs:

  • Condemns the compulsory redundancies faced by NUJ members, in particular at this time by members at the South Asia Service.
  • Notes with concern the efforts by some World Service managers to coerce staff in the South Asia service in to accepting redundancy packages against their will and warns that the NUJ will continue to consider such arrangements as compulsory redundancies.
  • Welcomes the ballot result that reiterates our opposition to compulsory redundancies in all parts of the BBC
  • Calls on management to immediately enter meaningful negotiations and to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies.
  • Resolves to call industrial action on Friday 3 April and Thursday 9 April in the event that further talks fail to resolve the issue.
  • Resolves to meet Bectu and Unite reps to seek to co-ordinate our response.

Will meet again on 30 March to consider plans for additional action.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:

"Once again, NUJ members at the BBC have shown they will not accept compulsory redundancies.
"Journalists at the South Asian services have been fighting a heroic struggle against the outsourcing of their jobs which will sacrifice jobs and editorial independence.
"Now they have the weight of thousands of NUJ members at the BBC behind them."

Paul McLaughlin, NUJ National Broadcasting Organiser, said:

"Today's result shows that members at the BBC are fully prepared to stand up for their colleagues under threat across the BBC.
"At a difficult time for journalism, the fact that so many members at the BBC are willing to support their colleagues is inspiring.
"If the BBC wants to provoke a strike over such small numbers it would be shameful. We call on the BBC to get round the table with us and sort it out."

Tags: , strike, bbc, redundancies, bectu, ballot, bbc world service, bbc radio, radio, broadcasting, websites, new media