BBC strike threat after shortfall in redundancy volunteers

The BBC is facing the threat of a strike by journalists and broadcasting staff after failing to attract enough volunteers for redundancy.

The corporation is planning to axe 2,500 jobs and started a trawl for volunteers in a bid to avoid compulsory cuts.

But it was disclosed today that in two of the main areas for cuts, news and factual programmes, not enough volunteers have come forward.

About 350 staff in BBC news have volunteered for redundancy, close to the target figure of 370, sources told PA.

In factual programmes and features, about 300 staff have volunteered to go, well short of the 440 the corporation is seeking, it is understood.

Gerry Morrissey, general secretary of the broadcasting workers’ union Bectu will recommend to a meeting of union leaders tomorrow that a ballot for strike action across the BBC should be held.

“I am confident we will get a vote in favour of strike action,” he told PA today. “The BBC is refusing to guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies, leaving us no option but to ballot our members.”

The result of a strike ballot would be known after Christmas, leaving the BBC facing industrial action in the New Year.

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