Two Days of Strike Action Looming at BBC

The BBC faces two days of strike action from members of the National Union of Journalists following a ballot of members called partly because of compulsory redundancies taking place at BBC Scotland.

The UK-wide action is scheduled for the 3rd and 9th of next month, after a 77 per cent vote in favour. More than 1100 of the union’s nearly 4000 members at the Corporation took part in the vote.

NUJ sister unions, Bectu and Unite, are still balloting their members. Other redundancies elsewhere in the Corporation – including in the BBC World Service’s South Asian section – are also behind the NUJ vote.

But since the ballot was called, the number of NUJ members at BBC Scotland facing compulsory redundancy has been steadily whittled away. Indeed, it is understood that negotiations are at advanced stage which could soon see no NUJ member facing compulsory redundancy at BBC Scotland. If the case, the dozen or so producers, assistant producers and researchers still facing compulsory redundancy would be either Bectu members or non-union.

Says NUJ vice-president and NUJ rep at BBC Scotland, Peter Murray: “We’re delighted there’s been such overwhelming support for our colleagues from across the BBC for a campaign against compulsory redundancies. We are calling on the BBC to enter immediate talks with union reps and to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies.”

Said a BBC Scotland spokesperson: “The BBC is continuing to work very hard to minimise compulsory redundancies in BBC Scotland – a fact acknowledged by the NUJ – and we have been able to reduce the potential number to 14.

“We are trying to achieve this against a backdrop of the most severe economic climate in the UK, with many thousands of redundancies being announced every week in major companies. We have told staff that the BBC’s financial position is not immune from what is happening in the economy.

“We’re disappointed that the union are considering industrial action but