Strike action called off at BBC

AsSreported as breaking news yesterday afternoon, strike action intended to take place at the BBC has been called off, following management reassurances about compulsory redundancies

A 24-hour walk out, starting at midnight earlier today, had been scheduled by the National Union of Journalists, following a ballot of members over job cuts, including at the BBC World Service’s South Asian section.

It had also been feared there would be compulsory redundancies at BBC Scotland, but they were subsequently averted a fortnight ago, so that the departures that did take place were on a voluntary basis.

Says NUJ rep at BBC Scotland, Peter Murray, who is also vice-chair of the union: “Union members across the BBC have once again demonstrated that we will resist all threats of compulsory redundancy against any of our members and we will not allow the BBC to separate journalists into first and second-class citizens.

“The NUJ will fight for every journalist’s job in the Corporation.”

The agreement between the BBC and the NUJ means a second walk-out, for next week, has also been cancelled.

In a statement, NUJ general secretary, Jeremy Dear, said: “We can confirm that in this instance we expect that we can deal with the individuals involved through a combination of voluntary severance and redeployment such that there would not be a need for compulsory redundancies.

“However, the BBC has reiterated its position that it cannot guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies in the future. The BBC will continue to make every effort to find solutions through voluntary redundancy and redeployment.”

Meanwhile, trade union, BECTU, is still balloting its members over possible industrial action concerning job fears affecting its members.

Elsewhere, BBC Radio Scotland has staged something of a coup by signing BBC 5 Live presenter, Aasmah Mir, who is joining its flagship news programme, Good Morning Scotland.

She will replace Gillian Marles who is moving to BBC Scotland’s business team to bolster coverage of current economic and banking crisis on TV, radio and online.