Staff to stage protest against BBC job cuts

BBC journalists are to stage a lobby outside Broadcasting House in London tomorrow ahead of director general Mark Thompson’s meeting with the BBC Trust in which he will present a series of cost-cutting plans.

Unions have been drawing up plans to fight what is expected to be the announcement of 2,800 job losses – which could lead to strikes in the run-up to Christmas.

The broadcasting workers’ union Bectu and the National Union of Journalists will make it clear they will not accept any compulsory redundancies and will demand a risk assessment of staff left at the BBC after the cuts to make sure they can cope with any extra workload.

Some 600 jobs are expected to be axed in news, 80 in sport, as well as cuts in scotland, Wales, factual programming and BBC Online.

The cost-cutting initiative comes as the BBC attempts to plug a £2bn funding shortfall, with TV and radio news, factual programmes and websites expected to be hardest hit.

Although Thompson will soften the blow by announcing up to 1,000 new jobs, he could still be facing industrial action by journalists and technical staff.

Unions have said they will press for staff to be redeployed or given the chance to apply for one of the new jobs being created.

Staff will be given details of the cuts at meetings on Thursday morning, and unions will meet later to decide their response.

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