Socialist Worker

BBC workers vote to walk out to defend 100 jobs

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2260

Hundreds of journalists at the BBC were set to walk out on Friday of this week over compulsory redundancies.

Over 100 jobs are threatened as management prepares to make huge cuts.

Bosses are particularly keen on slashing jobs at the World Service as part of a deal with the government to cut the BBC’s funding.

NUJ journalists’ union members voted overwhelmingly for strikes, with 72 percent in favour of walking out.

Pete Murray, president of the NUJ and a BBC worker, told Socialist Worker, “The response from the members has been solid.

“They have made it clear that they want to challenge the job losses.

“There were talks last week and they will continue.”

The NUJ has repeatedly stated that it will not tolerate compulsory redundancies. That resolve needs to hold throughout the talks.

BBC workers walked out for two days to defend their pensions in October last year.

A second round of strikes was called off after negotiations with management.

That dispute is ongoing, with legal wrangling over the details of the agreement.

Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the NUJ, said, “We are confident that all NUJ members will stand together to fight compulsory redundancies.”

If these go ahead, it would force workers to leave with very little notice.

Two NUJ members at BBC Monitoring are due to be forced to leave their jobs over the next ten days.

The government hates the BBC as it represents public broadcasting.

It wants to see the corporation “slimmed down” and sold off to the likes of Rupert Murdoch.

BBC workers have to resist this, and their bosses’ attacks. Striking can force management to back down.

NUJ members also plan to strike on 29 July.


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Tue 12 Jul 2011, 17:04 BST
Issue No. 2260
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