Socialist Worker

BBC workers name four days for national strikes to defend pensions

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2219

The NUJ, Bectu and Unite unions representing workers at the BBC have announced dates for strikes against attacks on their pensions.

The unions will strike on 5 and 6 October, then again on 19 and 20 October—the latter the date of the public spending review, when the Tories plan to announce more cuts to vital services and jobs.

Bosses at the BBC want to scrap the final salary scheme and limit pensions contributions to just 1 percent of earnings.

These proposals have angered a huge number of workers, who held meetings calling for the strike vote.

NUJ members voted by 94 percent to strike.

Management has now offered some “concessions”, but they are a slap in the face for workers.

While they propose to maintain the retirement age at 65, instead of it rising to 68, they plan to make workers pay nearly twice as much as they do now—7 percent of their wages instead of 4 percent.

Pete Murray, president of the NUJ, which represents around half of the workers at the BBC, told Socialist Worker, “All the union reps are united that the current proposals from BBC management are unacceptable.

“They mean staff at the BBC would pay more for less.

“We do not accept that the BBC needs to do these things. We want them to be open about their figures and be honest.

“We don’t trust them. But the massive vote for action shows that our members trust their unions.

“We want the best possible deal so our members don’t lose any benefits.

“The BBC could settle this dispute without a strike, but they should be in no doubt that we will strike if that deal does not come.

“This is a politically motivated attack—and we’ll be fighting this all the way.”

If BBC bosses refuse to withdraw all their attacks, the strikes must go ahead.

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Tue 14 Sep 2010, 17:14 BST
Issue No. 2219
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