BBC staff to strike in job cuts protest

BBC staff will stage a 24-hour strike in a row over pay that unions warned would seriously disrupt news programmes.

The broadcasting workers union Bectu said members had voted in favour of industrial action and the walkout would be held on 26 February. The dispute involves job cuts, with unions determined to avoid compulsory redundancies. The walkout will be joined by 4,000 NUJ members.

A Bectu official, Luke Crawley, said the row centred on fewer than 10 redundancies among journalists and broadcasting staff.

He said: "The BBC has achieved almost 4,000 job losses through voluntary measures and it seems madness to try to force through fewer than 10 compulsory redundancies. Bectu members are intent on taking strike action to protect their colleagues." Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the NUJ, added: "BBC managers have absolutely nobody to blame but themselves for this strike."

Bectu said the strike will hit BBC TV news programmes. Bectu is also involved in a separate dispute at the BBC involving staff who work in news production. Up to 95 members will conduct stoppages for three days from 27 February in an ongoing dispute over working practices.