One-day strike disrupts BBC - TvTechnology

One-day strike disrupts BBC

Estimates range from 38 percent to 55 percent of the BBC workers took part in the 24-hour job action
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BBC staff belonging to three unions staged a 24-hour strike to protest a plan that would cut 3800 jobs. Photo courtesy BECTU.

Unionized BBC workers disrupted the production of several radio and television shows, including News 24 and BBC World, when a large number walked off their jobs to protest plans to eliminate 3800 jobs.

Estimates range from 38 percent to 55 percent of the BBC workers took part in the 24-hour job action. The strike lasted from midnight May 22 until midnight May 23. The next step for the unions is a two-day strike scheduled from May 31 to June 1 if negotiations with the British state broadcaster aren’t seen as meaningful.

The plan to cut jobs is part of a larger effort at the BBC to prepare for new technology, multicasting and the potential of a radical departure from the funding model used to finance the network through viewer licensing fees paid at the time a TV set is purchased. At the center of the tension between labor and management is a plan from BBC Director General Mark Thompson to reshape public broadcasting. (For more information on Thompson’s plan see “New round of BBC cuts to generate $420 million in annual savings”).

The unions participating in the strike included Bectu, the National Union of Journalists and Amicus. According to Bectu, 15,000 workers took part in the strike.

For more information, visit www.bectu.org.uk/news/bbc/nb0258.html andwww.nuj.org.uk/inner.php?docid=958.

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