NUJ to ballot BBC staff over BECTU official's dismissal

The NUJ is to run a strike ballot among its BBC members in Cardiff and Bangor over the alleged sacking of a union activist.

The union served notice of its intentions on BBC Wales after Heidi Williams, a TV producer and long-standing representative for the BECTU union was dismissed by the BBC.

Ballot papers will be distributed on Friday 20 April with a closing date of Monday 14 May. If successful a formal notice of intention to strike could be served on the same day, leaving the unions free to take action from 22 May.

In a letter to BBC management the NUJ said: “A trade dispute exists between the NUJ and the BBC concerning the vicimisation and less favourable treatment of trade union activists employed by BBC Cardiff and in particular the decision to dismiss the BECTU branch chair at BBC Cardiff.”

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “The targeting of a respected and committed BECTU rep comes at a time when the unions at the BBC are fighting unprecedented cuts across the corporation. Trade union reps are playing a vital role in this battle, standing up and defending the corner of all their members – we will not allow the BBC to get away with picking off and victimising trade unionists in this way.”

BECTU assistant general secretary Luke Crawley said that management’s treatment od Williams was an ‘an attack on trade union organisation at BBC Wales and one which has absolutely no justification”.

A spokesperson for the BBC said: “The BBC works closely with the joint unions and acts in accordance with our agreed processes to address staff issues. Whilst such processes are underway and are yet to reach their conclusion, we believe it inappropriate to comment further.”

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