Socialist Worker

Strike at BBC World Service

by a BBC worker
Issue No. 2141

Around 60 NUJ and Bectu union members in the South Asian services at the BBC World Service went on strike on Thursday of last week against the offshoring and outsourcing of their sections and resulting compulsory redundancies.

A lively picket line in front of the World Service’s headquarters at Bush House in central London kept most staff away from work. Many sections were operating with only a quarter of their usual staff.

A lot of programmes were cancelled, though managers attempted to keep some on air – often disastrously.

The success of the strike was shown when Richard Sambrook, director of BBC Global News, gave permission for staff who had gone into work to attend a 20-minute rally in support of those on strike.

The strikers also received support from other NUJ and Bectu branches as well as the postal workers’ CWU union. CWU members refused to cross the picket line, with the result that no mail was delivered that day.

The NUJ is now balloting all members across the BBC for strike action over the compulsory redundancies in the South Asian sections and also in Glasgow. Bectu is balloting members in the affected areas.

We urge all NUJ members to vote yes to strike action and urge Bectu to ballot all its members across the BBC as well. We need to be united to stop all job losses.

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