BBC strike dates announced

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Dominic Ponsford
 
BBC unions have announced the dates for four days of strike action in protest against proposed job cuts.
 
Members of the NUJ have voted 83.9 per cent in
favour of striking over cuts of 4000, more than 400 of which are
expected to be journalists.
Staff unions BECTU, NUJ and Amicus are acting in unison on the
stoppages which will take place on May 23 (24 hours), May 31/June 1 (48
hours) and on a further date to be announced.
 
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “We have
absolutely no doubt that BBC staff will act with their feet and walk
out in huge numbers, causing major disruption to programme output.
 
“The BBC must drop its opposition to meaningful
negotiations if it wants to avoid serious damage to programmes. It is
time for BBC management to stop lecturing staff and start listening to
their concerns.
 
“Mark Thompson’s savage cuts package is heavy
handed, rash and unnecessary. A staggering one in five jobs is under
threat. Quality and standards cannot possibly survive such an
onslaught. He has provoked deep felt anger and disbelief among BBC
staff.
 
“It is regrettable that it has come to this, but
there is an easy way for the BBC to avoid the chaos they have brought
on themselves – grant a 90-day moratorium on the changes, guarantee
that any necessary redundancies are voluntary, protect the terms and
conditions of any jobs that may be outsourced or privatised and enter
into proper negotiations with staff unions.”
 
In a statement the BBC said: “We regret that the
unions have decided to take industrial action. By threatening the BBC’s
output, the unions put at risk the BBC’s relationship with the public
which is not in anyone’s interest.
 
“Industrial action will not remove the need for
further consultation or the need for the BBC to implement changes which
will enable us to put more money into improved programmes and services.
We will, of course, do everything we can to bring the best possible
service to viewers and listeners during any industrial action.”

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