BBC journalists set to strike
Friday 29 July 2011
BBC journalists are to press ahead with a second 24-hour strike on Monday after the failure to resolve a dispute over compulsory redundancies.
Members of the National Union of Journalists will walk out across the country, threatening disruption to radio and TV programmes.
Lucy Adams, the BBC's director of business operations, said the two sides had been in regular contact all week, but there was still no agreement.
In a message to staff she said: "We are still unable to agree to their demands for no compulsory redundancies. We are also unable to agree to NUJ members who are facing redundancy being treated differently to other BBC staff.
"Following the cuts in central Government grants to the World Service and BBC Monitoring we have had to close 387 posts, meaning that regrettably there are nearly 100 staff who as a result are facing compulsory redundancy.
"We have been working with all these affected staff to ensure that they have opportunities for redeployment and retraining but we cannot and will not give preferential treatment to individuals depending on their union status.
"We hope the NUJ will realise that these issues are best solved at a local level, and a national strike that penalises all our audiences is not in the interests of their members, other BBC staff or licence fee payers."
A BBC spokesman said: "We are disappointed that the NUJ is intending to strike and apologise to our audience for any disruption to services this may cause. Industrial action will not alter the fact that the BBC is faced with a number of potential compulsory redundancies, following significant cuts to the central Government grants that support the World Service and BBC Monitoring.
"We will continue with our efforts to reduce the need for compulsory redundancies, however, the number of posts that we are having to close means that unfortunately it is likely to be impossible for us to avoid some compulsory redundancies."
The union staged a 24-hour strike earlier this month as part of its campaign to avert compulsory job losses.
An NUJ spokesman said: "The NUJ remains committed to negotiating a settlement to the dispute but the BBC remains unwilling to engage in finding reasonable resolutions for individuals who have been forced to leave and who face compulsory redundancy in the weeks to come."
NUJ members in Yorkshire have been out on indefinite strike action since July 15 in a separate row over jobs.
NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "NUJ members across the UK are fighting for the future of our profession. Job losses are disastrous for quality journalism and democracy in the UK. Management should stop the job cuts and get round the table with the NUJ."
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