BBC strike to hit radio programmes

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BBC radio programmes face disruption this month when hundreds of production workers stage two 24-hour strikes in protest at jobs being merged.

Members of Bectu and the National Union of Journalists will walk out on 15 and 23 February, hitting radio programmes including Radio 1's Chris Moyles Show and Radio 4's Woman's Hour, Front Row and You And Yours. The 500 workers had already voted to take industrial action over plans to combine website, radio and production roles into a single assistant-producer's job.

A Bectu officer, Luke Crawley, said: "The ball is firmly in the BBC's court. If they want to get in touch, we will consider any developments." Paul McLaughlin, the NUJ's national broadcasting organiser, said: "We are disappointed the BBC has not made a suitable offer in terms of how this process can be carried forward."

A BBC spokesman said: "We would be disappointed if listeners suffer as a result of a dispute about the extension of working arrangements which already exist. The wider use of multi-skilled assistant producers is part of a strategy through which the BBC plans to achieve significant efficiency savings without compulsory redundancies."