27 May 2005

Strike postponed

The strike due for 31 May/1 June is postponed. After 20 hours at Acas, the broadcasting unions have said that BBC management has made sufficient concessions, especially relating to privatising Corporation functions, to justify postponing the two-day strike. BBC union representatives are to meet on Tuesday to consider the outcome of the Acas talks. No recommendations will be put to that meeting.

BBC strike dates announced

STAFF at the BBC will strike over proposed massive job cuts on 23 May for 24 hours and on 31 May/1 June for 48 hours.

The NUJ with fellow unions BECTU and Amicus announced this action on 12 May, the day after 84% of members balloted voted for such action.

As always, staff members at the BBC would appreciate it if any freelances asked to cover found themselves to be unavailable. Any who suffer hardship while being unavailable should contact the relevant Chapel.

Join us!

Picketing on 23 May

Members of London Freelance Branch will be taking the Branch banner to the picket at BBC TV Centre, White City, London W12, which starts at 10am.

In Bristol, the first pickets will line-up at the back gate on Belgrave Road from around 5am/5.30am; they're picketing the front door from 7.30am to 8am. They need people for lunchtime (between 12pm and 1pm) and at around 2.30pm and 5pm.

The General Secretary writes:

Dear colleagues,

As you may be aware union members at the BBC have voted overwhelmingly to strike – and have now named the first strike days. They are 23 May and 31 May/1 June.

Members are striking against crude plans to axe 3780 jobs and privatise important parts of the BBC. We fear the plans will lead to a deterioration of quality and worse working terms and conditions for staff and freelances at the BBC. Among the plans are proposals to slash freelance budgets to meet cuts targets.

In previous strikes at the BBC, freelances have shown tremendous solidarity with their colleagues. They have cancelled shifts, refused to provide work on strike days, made themselves unavailable and found other ways to ensure they are not breaking the strike. They have realised that staff and freelances have a mutual benefit in ensuring a strong union presence.

The anti-union laws mean your union is not allowed to ask you to join the strike. However it is perfectly lawful for you to choose to join the strike – and we sincerely hope you will choose to do so - and help save jobs and protect quality and ensure the BBC treats its staff and freelances with respect. So far the BBC have refused to negotiate with your union on these cuts. With the support of freelances for the strike unions believe they can bring the BBC back to the negotiating table.

If you have any questions about any aspect of the BBC strike please don’t hesitate to get in touch at fightforourbbc@nuj.org.uk or call 020 7843 3707

Yours sincerely,

Last modified: 13 May 2005 - © 2005 contributors
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