Socialist Worker

Telegraph to strike | BBC to take action | Campaign at Express

Crucial battles are breaking out across the media as workers resist management attacks.

Issue No. 2026

Telegraph

Members of the NUJ journalists’ union at the Daily Telegraph are set to strike for three days from Tuesday of next week.

The strike could severely disrupt the production of the paper. Union members voted by 76 percent to strike.

An NUJ member at the Telegraph told Socialist Worker, “Over 50 journalists have been removed from their jobs. Other staff have also been cut. This was preceded by heavy cuts 18 months ago.

“Management have integrated the web and print newsrooms, and we have recently moved to Victoria in central London from Canary Wharf. Management are trying to integrate the daily and the Sunday newsrooms.

“People now have excessive workloads. There has been a failure on behalf of management to discuss properly what’s going on with the union.

“People were initially angry that their colleagues were losing their jobs. But the anger has moved on now and is about us being stressed.”

Support the Telegraph strikers, 8pm, Tuesday 14 November, Thistle Victoria Hotel, Buckingham Palace Road. Speakers include Tony Benn and Jeremy Dear. Send messages of support to john.carey@telegraph.co.uk


BBC

Bectu union members who are news production staff in BBC TV News in London have voted by over 90 percent for strikes over new rotas. They are set to strike on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, and Thursday 23 and Friday 24 November.

Tim Malone, a BBC Bectu union branch secretary, said, “Three years of cuts at the BBC are beginning to bite.

“Director general Mark Thompson has already outsourced more than 2,500 staff and pushed though 3,000 voluntary redundancies. But there are further cuts to come and this time management is threatening compulsory redundancies.

“Despite saving over £1 billion in pension contributions between 1992 and 2003, the BBC now intends to make staff in total pay up to £10 million a year extra to the pension fund by the increases to the pensions contributions from 4.5 percent to the current figure of 7.5 percent, and 9 percent in 2008.

“In addition staff will have to work until 65 and future staff are now denied access to the final pension scheme. In the light of this it’s absurd that the unions could not mount a serious campaign to oppose the cuts.

“When the BBC offered a 2.6 percent pay rise in July the unions negotiated an offer to ballot their members, without a recommendation of rejecting, for 2.8 percent.

“The unions also accepted the pension changes and redundancies and have left any fight back to individual sections.

“Various sections will now be facing compulsory redundancies and increased workloads. Hopefully the strike by news production staff will encourage other sections to act.”


Express

NUJ members at the Daily Express are launching a Save the Express campaign after management announced 60 job cuts at the Richard Desmond-owned Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday titles.

Some 10 percent of the journalists at the Express will be cut. The announcement came after union members at the Daily Star halted the production of an anti-Muslim page.

The campaign against job cuts could involve industrial action. NUJ members at the Guardian are also currently balloting for strike action over pay.


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News
Sat 11 Nov 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2026
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