BBC staff stage first of three planned strikes over job cuts

BBC staff will walk out today in protest at plans to cut 3,780 jobs.

Strikes are planned for today, 31 May and 1 June. The BBC is expected to try to minimise disruption, but unions said they want “black screens and dead air”.

Members of the Bectu, NUJ and Amicus trade unions claim this could interrupt flagship shows including Radio 4’s Today programme and BBC2’s Newsnight.

The BBC said it was “disappointed” at the result and “would prefer to continue constructive discussions” with the unions.

The corporation said: “Given the scale of the changes that the BBC needs to make, and that the unions have not allowed us to talk to them to address their concerns, we are not surprised by the ballot result.”

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said the result was “a reflection of the huge anger at the scale and impact” of director general Mark Thompson’s cuts.

Thompson has maintained that most of the job losses would be achieved through staff turnover and voluntary redundancies and said the corporation would be putting more than £350m a year back into programme-making.

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