Socialist Worker

BBC strikes called off

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2280

Unions balloting workers in the BBC have called off upcoming strikes. The NUJ, Bectu and Unite unions balloted together against plans for a wholesale attack on the service.

Activists and officials in each union were expecting a strong vote for action. But the results of the ballot were never announced. Instead, on Friday of last week union leaders released a statement claiming that the dispute had been resolved.

According to the NUJ, BBC managers have promised that their plans to attack workers’ pay and conditions “will now be negotiated as part of a single major review next year”.

The BBC has said that new starters will be employed on current terms and conditions until the agreement is reached.

While management has temporarily suspended its attacks on workers’ rights, other attacks remain in place. In particular, the BBC is pressing ahead with plans to slash budgets.

This will result in at least 2,000 job losses and the closure of many BBC stations, programmes and websites. Job cuts could still start in the new year. These had been issues central to the union’s arguments for action.

The deal was agreed by a meeting of union reps. But members will not get to vote on on the deal.

NUJ members at the Thompson Reuters news agency are to ballot for strikes. Workers are angry at a paltry 1.5 percent pay offer from management.

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Mon 28 Nov 2011, 13:46 GMT
Issue No. 2280
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