Unions claim extensive support for BBC strike

Unions claim that 11,000 workers supported the strike at the BBC yesterday.

Broadcast union Bectu claimed that there were so few staff at work that 95% of production was stopped and virtually every BBC broadcasting outlet was forced to play pre-recorded material.

Bectu, Amicus and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) took a first day of action over plans to cut almost 4,000 jobs in moves aimed to save £355m.

Further strikes are planned for next week, with staff planning a 48-hour walk out on 31 may and 1 June.

Bectu’s BBC supervisory official Luke Crawley said the union believed it was the most successful strike in BBC history.

“Surely the BBC must recognise that a negotiated outcome is the only sensible way to proceed,” he said.

“If they do not then there will be more of the same in eight days’ time, on 31 May.”

The NUJ said the strike made it clear that the unions would not accept cuts which “decimate programmes, devalue the BBC, short-change licence fee payers, increase pressures on staff and worsen working conditions”.

Speaking on the Radio4 Today programme, BBC director general mark Thompson said the corporation was willing to consult unions about the proposed cuts.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said the union wanted the BBC to negotiate on the basis of no compulsory redundancies.

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