07.19.2004 12:00 PM
BBC technical staff vote to strike over outsourcing

The trade union for the BBC’s IT staff has voted to go on strike, following the announcement that the British broadcaster will outsource its tech division to Siemens.

More than 80 percent of BBC technology staff affiliated with the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union voted to strike after the German company wouldn’t meet its demands over pensions and guarantees jobs for current BBC employees.

The union asked Siemens to guarantee that no BBC technology employees would be made redundant within three years, but the company would only guarantee a one-year period before it would be able to introduce compulsory redundancies.

The union also demanded that terms and conditions of its contract remain the same for three years and for a pension plan to remain the same.

Siemens said it would introduce a broadly comparable pension plan but turned down the no changes request. The company also refused a request for a 2.5 percent-above-inflation pay increase for the next three years.

The outsourcing is scheduled to take place Sept. 1. However, the union said the timeframe is too short and have voted to extend it. The union said it needs more time to work out its differences with Siemens.

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