Bad news day for management at SMG
ABOUT 300 media workers in the journalists' NUJ union and the technicians' BECTU union at STV and Grampian Television struck on Wednesday of last week. They were protesting against a pay freeze, wage cuts and redundancies. The strike caused a lot of disruption, especially to news broadcasts. Senior executives were forced to read some bulletins and some programmes were hurriedly replaced by gameshows hosted by Des O'Connor.
The picket lines were well attended and attracted outside support, with a number of Members of the Scottish Parliament, including socialist Tommy Sheridan. Dreamed The strike was all the more impressive as the workforce have not been on strike for 20 years. As one striker said, "I never dreamed that I would be in such an action." This was the first in a series of one-day strikes that workers are taking against the two companies, both of which are part of the Scottish Media Group (SMG).
The 94 percent vote for strike action reflects the anger generated by this vicious attack on wages. The new pay structure will mean large pay cuts or a permanent pay freeze for half of SMG workers. Some workers are facing a cut of �12,000 per year and a permanent pay freeze. SMG made record profits of �50 million last year. The chief executive of SMG is paid �325,000 a year. The next day of strike action was planned for Thursday of this week.