BBC journalists face strike ballot


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The Independent Online

Journalists and technicians working for the BBC in Wales are to be balloted for strikes in a row over the dismissal of a producer.

Members of the National Union of Journalists and the technicians' union Bectu based in Cardiff and Bangor will start voting on April 20 on whether to take industrial action in support of Heidi Williams, with the result due on May 14.

Bectu assistant general secretary Luke Crawley said: "Management's treatment of Heidi Williams is an attack on trade union organisation at BBC Wales and one which has absolutely no justification. We are confident that members will back the call for strike action and, furthermore, take action should senior management fail to resolve the issues surrounding Heidi's dismissal."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: "The targeting of a respected and committed Bectu rep comes at a time when the unions at the BBC are fighting unprecedented cuts across the corporation. Trade union reps are playing a vital role in this battle, standing up and defending the corner of all their members - we will not allow the BBC to get away with picking off and victimising trade unionists in this way."

A BBC spokesman said: "The BBC works closely with the joint unions and acts in accordance with our agreed processes to address staff issues. Whilst such processes are under way and are yet to reach their conclusion, we believe it inappropriate to comment further."