BBC journalists to strike if redundancy plans not scrapped

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BBC journalists are warning management that they will strike over job cuts unless plans for compulsory redundancies are abandoned.

NUJ representatives from across the BBC have unanimously backed strike action in the face of a refusal by BBC managers to reconsider plans for up to eight compulsory redundancies. BBC managers are refusing to redeploy threatened staff and instead are seeking to force journalists to leave the corporation.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “It’s either incompetence or intransigence – a deal is there to be done but BBC managers are seeking to heap misery upon misery by pushing through compulsory job cuts and thereby provoking strike action. It’s a poor way to run the world’s leading public service broadcaster. BBC staff and licence-fee payers deserve better.”

NUJ national broadcasting organiser Paul McLaughlin said: ‘We made it clear at the start of this process we would not accept compulsory redundancies because we said there was no need. There is still no need and BBC managers have only themselves to blame for the angry reaction of their staff.”

NUJ representatives will hold talks with other BBC unions over the coming days before naming dates for the strike action which is expected to begin with a 24-hour stoppage next month.

The eight threatened compulsory redundancies affect BBC News Division, which will see five jobs axed, including two at Newsnight, BBC People will lose two jobs and New Media faces one job cut. The proposed cuts come as part of the BBC’s Value for Money programme.

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