BBC hit by technicians strike


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The Independent Online

A strike by BBC technicians over plans to move production of TV and radio programmes disrupted the corporation's output today.

Radio 4 was not able to transmit its scheduled Farming Today programme as a result of a walkout by members of the technicians' union Bectu.

The union is protesting over plans to move production of programmes from Birmingham, arguing that the city has "cutting edge" facilities and cost effective work practices.

Bectu national officer Anna Murray said: "These plans make no sense - no money will be saved and production capacity and talent for the Midlands will be lost. The regional economy will be dealt a body blow and the aspirations of those wanting to enter the industry will be dashed."

The BBC said the only disruption so far was to Farming Today, which was replaced by a repeat programme.

A spokesman said: "It is disappointing that Bectu members have gone ahead with industrial action and we remain open to dialogue to resolve the dispute.

"This will not alter the fact that the BBC needs to deliver business decisions which safeguard long-term in-house factual production. We apologise to our audience for any disruption to service."